Box Hill secured back-to-back wins on Saturday with a 27-point victory over Darebin at Preston City Oval.

Laura Elliott and Janet Baird both featured in the game from a Hawks AFLW point-of-view.

Box Hill Coach Cherie O’Neill said that while the game was a tough slog, the Hawks stood up to the challenge.

“The conditions weren’t great, it was a bit of wet weather footy but I think even with that we played the style of game we wanted to play,” she said.

Read O’Neill’s thoughts on each AFLW-listed player, as well as who she liked from a VFLW perspective.

AFLW-listed players 

Janet Baird (7 disposals)

“We’ve been playing Janet down forward for a bit of a different look. She’s continuing to build and get more of the footy. She’s always in those right spots and she’s always going to do something good with it. Her decision-making has been really good.” 

Laura Elliott (16 disposals, 4 tackles, 5 clearances)

“I’ve really enjoyed Laura through the midfield and I think the group has as well. She just creates that stability and you know exactly what you’re going to get. You can see her game building - she’s one for the future.”


VFLW-listed players 

Nicole Garner (17 disposals, 6 marks, 3 clearances, 2 tackles)

“Nic Garner had a good captain’s game on the weekend and really led from the front. It was good to see her game start to come back.”

Matilda Van Berkel (21 disposals, 5 tackles)

“Matilda’s been amazing for us down back. We had Nadia von Bertouch out but she gave us some really good attacks off the back line. It’s been great watching her.”

Drew Ryan (18 disposals, 3 clearances, 2 tackles)

“Drew played through the midfield, it was a bit of a different role for her. She got a lot of the footy and did some good things with it. It was good to see her get a bit more of the footy.”

Box Hill also had four Eastern Ranges young guns feature in the Falcons clash, with Laura Stone, Alyssia Piano, Jess Vukic and Ava Campbell making their VFLW debuts.

All four players had an impact on the game, with Stone amassing 18 disposals and laying six tackles, Pisano kicking the first goal of the game in the forward line, Vukic accruing 14 hit-outs in the ruck and Campbell getting eight touches across the middle. 

O’Neill was highly impressed by the quartet’s performance, both in the game and on the track. 

“When we saw them at training, they slotted into the group really well,” O’Neill said.

“They just looked like they were supposed to be there.

“I’m really excited to watch them progress and have that pathway for the Box Hill Hawks.

“Hopefully they want to stay involved and keep training with us and get more opportunities.” 

Up next, the Hawks do battle with the old enemy, Essendon, at Box Hill City Oval on Saturday afternoon.  

Two of Box Hill’s past three clashes with the Bombers have ended in draws so O’Neill is hoping for a full four-quarter performance come the weekend. 

“We’re excited to be back home at Box Hill, I think we play well there,” she said.

“It’s definitely going to be a challenge, Essendon’s always the team that we have good challenges with.

“We’ve had draws, one-point wins and losses and very tough games.

“I would just like to see us play four good quarters of footy and our brand of Hawks footy.

“If we can do that, I’ll be happy regardless of the result.”

Saturday’s game kicks off at 12pm, with entry to Box Hill City Oval free of charge. 

The match will also be live-streamed on, the AFL App and the VFL App.