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AFLW recap: Two months into the journey

Plenty has happened in the two months since Hawthorn successfully received the green light to enter the AFLW.

After years of banging down the door for an AFLW licence, Hawthorn’s time for campaigning came to an end and it's now time to take flight.

It comes after the AFL confirmed in August that the club had been granted an AFLW licence and will enter the competition in Season Seven (end of 2022).

Here’s a recap of everything that has happened in the Hawks' world of women’s footy since.

Goddard to lead inaugural side

Shortly after the news of the Hawks successful licence, Bec Goddard was announced as the club's inaugural AFLW coach.

Goddard has since spoken about her aspirations as coach and how the club is preparing to enter the competition.

“I think the best bit about it is the evolution and the shift in the footy club and how important it is for the club to have a complete family," she said.

“Seeing how passionate and how invested everyone is in being a part of this new journey is also a very inspiring thing.”

Due to COVID-19 boarder restrictions, Goddard remains in her current residence of Canberra, but is expected to return to Victoria by the end of this year. 

VFLW Best and Fairest

The Hawks VFLW side celebrated its end of season with their club awards last month.

Tamara Luke was crowned the 2021 Best and Fairest after an impressive year.
 
Catherine Brown finished second following a string of great performances, while Captain Meg Hutchins finished in third place.

Auskicker dreams of AFLW

Youngster Poppy Broadbent – who is a massive Hawthorn fan – captured the hearts of football fans across the nation when she landed the 2021 NAB Auskicker of the Year.

Speaking at the 2021 Brownlow Medal count, Poppy said when she grows up she wants to play for the AFLW Hawks - a dream that can now become a reality.

Poppy also got to meet star Hawk Tom Mitchell on the night, and later hung out with her favourite brown and gold player Chad Wingard for a kick at Waverley Park.

00:57 Mins
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Is Poppy a future AFLW star?

Poppy stole the hearts of Hawks fans far and wide with her appearance on the AFL Brownlow broadcast and winning NAB Auskicker of the Year.

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New VFLW coach onboard  

Hawthorn recently announced the appointment of Cherie O’Neill as the club’s VFLW senior coach, replacing now Hawthorn AFLW coach Bec Goddard.

O’Neill’s appointment continues Hawthorn’s proud history of supporting and developing female coaches across the club’s women’s football programs.

Aside from leading a competitive VFLW side, O’Neill will also help play a critical role in developing the next wave of future AFLW talent for Hawthorn.

“Hopefully I can build relationships that’s what I’m after, and really start to build those players ready for that AFLW journey," O'Neill said.

“I’m keen to work with Bec in that space, and I’m really excited about getting the program up and running and putting my own spin on it.”

O’Neill boasts a decade-long impressive coaching resume that has most recently seen her in an assistant coaching role at the Bendigo Pioneers in the NAB League competition.

Redevelopment of stadium

Hawthorn has already begun preparations to house an AFLW team, with the club committing $1 million to renovate Waverley Park to provide an equal, integrated training facility for both male and female elite footballers.

Meanwhile, the development of the club’s future home at the Kennedy Community Centre is underway with the club having secured funding from all levels of government and environmental site remediation works already commenced.

Foundation memberships take off

Hawthorn launched its foundation AFLW memberships, giving fans the opportunity to support the team as it begins its journey of laying down the foundations for success.  

In signing up, a $100 Take Flight donation will contribute to putting the building blocks in place to ensure the Hawks AFLW team has every opportunity to soar as they take their place in the highest level of competition.

Memberships are available to purchase at www.membership.hawthornfc.com.au/aflw-foundation-member

Hawthorn members and fans can keep up to date with all the latest news on Hawthorn’s AFLW team via Instagram, Facebook and Twitter at @hawthornaflw

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