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A VFLW star on the rise

Tom Hussey  September 13, 2018 9:49 AM

VFLW SF: Highlights Watch highlights from the semi final victory that sees the VFLW Hawk's into the grand final.

A win in just over a week's time is now the only thing that stands between young Hawks star Jayde Van Dyk and a perfect 2018 season, after being honoured with a pair of accolades at Monday’s VFL Best & Fairest night.

The 22-year-old was handed the Debbie Lee Medal as the VFLW’s Rising Star as well as being named in the back pocket of the competition’s Team of the Year, alongside her skipper Emma Mackie and teammate Rebecca Beeson.

Averaging 15 disposals in what’s been a breakout season in defence, Van Dyk said that while the recognition for her impressive form was humbling, it was the Hawks’ success so far in 2018 that had made it all the more rewarding.

“It’s amazing, I mean I’m incredibly honoured and humbled to receive these awards,” the rebounding defender said during the week.

“It does make it a whole lot sweeter coming off a strong season and not just for me but the club and the team as a whole.”

Taking her game to another level this season, Van Dyk credited the support of Paddy Hill and the Hawks’ coaching team as she’s built on her ability to both lockdown on an opponent and provide plenty of offensive run.

“I guess that (good form) stems from the support from Paddy and all the other coaching staff,” she said.

“A huge part of our game has been to find and learn and work on our own individual strengths and how we can implement them in the game.

“So for me that’s been being able to play both roles, defending as a backman would and then being able to transition into that attack and run off half back.”

Read: Plaudits for VFLW trio

Van Dyk will now prepare to run out for the side’s first-ever VFLW grand final in just over a week’s time, with the prospect of winning a premiership in Hawthorn’s inaugural year in the competition a tantalizing one.

“It’d be huge,” Van Dyk said.

“I think everyone is going to love the experience whether we win or lose but it’d be great to come off with the win and to see that we’ve built such a strong team and unit, and having all the club support behind us it’d be good to get the whole club over the line as well.”