Hawthorn Football Club and Box Hill Hawks have signed a five-year extension of their partnership, continuing the legacy of being the longest running VFL-AFL alignment in history. 

Touted as one of the most successful alliances in the industry, the extension means the two clubs will be aligned until at least 2026.  

Under the new agreement, Hawthorn’s VFLW licence will return to Box Hill as the Hawks prepare to join the AFLW competition in Season 7 at the end of 2022. 

With Box Hill absorbing the VFLW licence, both clubs will be strengthened through their operation of elite football programs for both male and female athletes. 

In an exciting development to the partnership, Hawthorn and Box Hill will collaborate to form the Hawks Academy Pathway Program. The program will oversee the enlistment of father-son, father-daughter, Next Generation Academy and other promising football talents from the two clubs’ shared recruiting regions along the Eastern corridor. 

Box Hill Hawks’ Board of Directors will too be bolstered, as Hawthorn President Jeff Kennett and the club’s General Manager of Operations & Major Projects, Josh Vanderloo, join the committee ahead of the 2022 VFL season.  

Box Hill Hawks President Ed Sill highlighted the strength of the partnership and welcomed the two new directors to Box Hill’s Board. 

“Box Hill’s relationship with Hawthorn is notably one of the most well-established alliances in the league, and we are thrilled to continue our partnership for a further five years.” 

“I warmly welcome Hawthorn President Jeff Kennett along with Josh Vanderloo to our Board of Directors. Both bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to our leadership team and will be pivotal in continuing to drive the successful operations of our club, equally on and off the field.” 

Hawthorn Chief Executive Officer Justin Reeves said the long-standing relationship between the two clubs is something Hawthorn is extremely proud of. 

“The club is delighted that this new agreement will see Hawthorn’s esteemed partnership with Box Hill remain until at least 2026,” Reeves said. 

“Hawthorn’s alliance with Box Hill has long-fostered an incredible amount of collaboration and mutual admiration which continues to place both clubs in good stead now and into the future. 

“We have no doubt the relationship between Hawthorn and Box Hill played a significant part in Hawthorn’s Premiership success since 2008, and it will continue to have a substantial impact over the next five years.” 

The alignment of Hawthorn Football Club and the Box Hill Hawks is the one and only original VFL/AFL alignment which remains today.