Hawthorn AFLW Senior Coach Bec Goddard has appointed a strong coaching panel led by women ahead of the club’s inaugural AFLW season.

Current Hawks VFLW Coach Cherie O’Neill will take on the role of Game Development & Line Support Coach, while Lou Wotton (Forwards Coach), David Mackay (Midfield Coach) Brady Grey (Backline Coach) will look after each line.

Rounding out the AFLW coaching panel is the already-appointed Strategy & Opposition Coach Keegan Brooksby.

The Hawks committed to identifying, developing and promoting women to coach at the highest level through its VFLW program, with O’Neill and Hawthorn VFLW premiership player and current assistant coach Wotton now proof of the program’s success.

A familiar face in Hawthorn circles, Wotton has plied her trade this year mentoring the midfielders within the club’s successful VFLW side. She also has experience herself at AFLW level, serving as an inaugural Collingwood AFLW player.

Goddard said Wotton was a valuable addition to the club’s coaching set-up as someone who is already well-versed in the culture of the brown and gold. 

“Lou is a Hawthorn person through and through and has already played a pivotal role as our VFLW midfield coach this year. She is well-equipped to lead our forwards who aim to play an attacking style of footy,” Goddard said.

“As the family club, we are excited to not only have Lou join our program but also her beautiful new baby girl Betty, who we hope will come to as many training sessions as possible!”

O’Neill is also a familiar face, having guided the Hawks VFLW team to a finals berth after a 12-1-1 record as coach.

“As a much-loved member of the Hawthorn community, Cherie not only has the capability of driving on-field success but she’s also extremely passionate about developing great people off the field to live out the club’s values,” Goddard said.

Mackay, who was at the Crows when Goddard was there, will lead Hawthorn’s engine room as midfield coach.

He is currently a Box Hill line coach as well as the Hawks Academy coach, developing father-son, father-daughter and Next Generation prospects for Hawthorn’s programs.

“With David, we’re getting a 248-game AFL veteran who knows what it takes to perform at the highest level and who already has a key involvement in our overall program at Hawthorn,” Goddard said.

Grey, who will serve as the club’s backline coach, has previous AFLW coaching experience, having been a stoppage & skills coach as well as a midfield coach with the West Coast Eagles.

Prior to this, he played 21 games for Fremantle in the AFL and is currently playing with the Box Hill Hawks in the VFL.

“Our defenders will really embrace Brady’s expertise in the backline, especially since he has already been involved in an AFLW program,” Goddard said.

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Overall, the Hawks AFLW senior coach was delighted to assemble such a well-rounded coaching panel to help lead her side in its inaugural AFLW season.

“We’re thrilled to have an AFLW coaching panel with a wealth of experience and passion for not only getting the best out of our players, but living out the club’s values as a whole,” Goddard said.

“With our playing list starting to take serious shape, now is the perfect time to jump on board at Hawthorn and ‘Soar With Us’ as a foundation member as we head into our inaugural season.”