After recording its second win of the season last week, Box Hill was unlucky this time around, going down to the undefeated Casey Demons by seven points in its Round 6 clash.
While the Demons lead at every change, a committed and spirited Box Hill outfit proved impossible to shake, digging in to keep the contest alive and up for grabs until the final siren.
Hawthorn Development Coach Andy Otten has provided an insight into how the match unfolded for each of the nine senior-listed Hawks who featured in the clash.
Dan Howe (23 disposals, 8 marks)
“After playing the night before (in Hawthorn’s senior side) - I think he had 18 minutes of game time - Howe backed it up the next day, so it was a really solid effort from him. He got a game-high touches for the AFL-listed players with 22. He had some really good moments throughout the game. We used him in a variety of roles on the wing as an inside-mid. He’s experience and leadership on the field is vital, especially for our younger VFL players. He just leads by example with the way he attacks the footy."
Seamus Mitchell (17 disposals, 5 marks, 2 tackles)
“It was his second game down back this week, and he took another really positive step forward in his development as a defender. I think he’s learning how to use his assets of his pace and his kicking ability as a defender. We have been encouraging him to get the ball in his hands and take the game on with his speed. He’s progressing nicely for us."
Sam Butler (15 disposals, 8 marks, 1 goal)
“Buts had another really solid game as a forward. He has been offering an exit option for our defenders to hit and he’s getting on the end of those, which is great to see. He probably could’ve kicked the ball and use the ball a bit better throughout the game, so he’ll be looking to brush up on that during the week. But overall a good performance by Butsy."
Jack Saunders (12 disposals, 7 marks)
“Saunders had a quieter game this week, he didn't quite have the impact he was after. He just made some poor decisions, which lead to some poor execution by hand and foot. But that was a one-off for him this week, he's been progressing really nicely. Judging by the type of character he is, he’ll get back on the track this week and work really hard to improve."
Jai Serong (1 goal, 11 disposals, 7 marks)
“We're really happy with how Jai’s been developing as a young forward in the VFL. Each week he is improving, the learnings he is able to take each week and be able to implement them into each game is really encouraging for us coaches to see. This week he was able to get up high as well and work on those running patterns to be an exit kick for our defenders and he used the ball really well going forward."
Kyle Hartigan (8 disposals, 4 marks)
"Hartigan had his first game back for a while so it was great see him back out there. His leadership is great. He’s very valuable for this team as a defender, leading the other young defenders, especially Seamus. His agility and movement looked great, he looks really fresh. He was able to impact some balls, and read the ball well in the air. We're looking for big Hartigan to get some continuity with some more games."
Ned Long (14 disposals, 4 marks, 6 tackles)
"We gave Longy a job this week on Casey's James Munro in the first half, and he had an interesting battle. He probably didn’t get the ball as much as he would like as a midfielder, so he’s still looking at ways to improve that aspect in his game. In the last quarter he went forward and created a few good contests for us."
Josh Morris (17 disposals, 5 marks, 2 tackles)
"Tank has been really consistent with his performances over the course of the last month. We’re really happy with how Josh is going as a defender for us. We’ve been asking him to play his role each week, and be really solid for us down there. He took a few nice intercept marks. We’d just love Josh to be a bit more threatening with the ball in hand – so he’ll take that on this week and he's looking forward to that."
Emerson Jeka (3 goals, 11 disposals, 4 marks, 4 hit-outs)
"Emerson kicked three goals for us which was great to see. It was a big improvement on his last few games. He was really invested this week and put it on himself to put a good performance on the board. I think it started with his effort and intent, both were at a high level and he had some good reward for effort. He had a good battle with Adam Tomlinson, who’s a really solid AFL defender for Casey. Those two shared a good battle all day. It was a positive step in the right direction for Jeka."