Box Hill completed its pre-season strongly with a 46-point win over Essendon on Saturday.

Following losses against Footscray and Richmond previously, the Hawks put together a solid performance over the Bombers which proved to be the perfect lead-in to Sunday’s Round 1 battle with Casey. 

A host of AFL-listed Hawks featured at the Hangar and it was Calsher Dear who shone up forward with four goals. 

He was complemented by twin talls Lloyd Meek and Max Ramsden, who each kicked two majors. 

Harry Morrison was also able to get on the scoreboard with one goal. 

In terms of VFL-listed players, it was Andreas Stefanakis who stole the show with six goals, while Billy Hicks kicked three. Seb Amoroso, Jed Rule and Josh Tovey rounded out the goalkickers with one major each.

Coach Zane Littlejohn praised a handful of AFL-listed players for their performance against the Bombers, while also pointing out two VFL-listed players who deserved a shout-out for their pre-season overall. 

Calsher Dear (4 goals) 

“He had a really nice and balanced game where he was able to hit the scoreboard. It was great to see him kick four goals himself.”

Lloyd Meek and Harry Morrison (2 goals each)

“Lloyd and Harry were able to come back and not just perform really well at the level, which we know they can do, but also help the likes of Henry, Calsher and Bodie (Ryan) develop as well. That’s what we look for in our Hawthorn guys when they come back to VFL level - their willingness to help others around them.”

Henry Hustwaite 

“Henry was really dominant around the footy. You can just tell how good his pre-season has been. I know there’s been a lot of talk around Henry and how well he’s developed. He was able to execute that at VFL level which was really pleasing.”

…and a couple of shout-outs for two VFL-listed guns 


Max Hall 

“One young man who’s really impressed everyone this pre-season has been Max Hall, who has been voted into our leadership group. One thing that really impresses me about Max was that he was dropped for our finals last year, so he could’ve turned his nose up and walked away, but he saw real value in the great development program that we’ve got at Box Hill. He came back even bigger, stronger and faster which is great to see. He’s really grown his game to a new level, so Hawthorn and Box Hill fans should be very excited to see what he can provide this year.”

Ben De Bolfo 

“We’ve got Ben De Bolfo back after he did his ACL last year on the Hawthorn track unfortunately. To have him back out there and ideally playing a lot of footy for us at Box Hill is really exciting. He’s big, strong and a great leader as well so we’re really happy to have him back.”

Box Hill commences its season on Sunday afternoon against Casey at Casey Fields, with the game to be broadcast on Channel 7. 

Before the first bounce of the VFL game at 2.05pm, the VFLW Hawks will take the field at 11.05am. That game will be available to stream on the VFL website and app. 

For a full season preview, check out this in-depth chat with coach Littlejohn below.


Feature image taken by JM Sacchetta Photography.