Box Hill’s VFLW team take the field for the first time this season on Sunday morning against the Casey Demons.

The Hawks previously beat the Demons in the first of their two practice matches, going down to Williamstown in their other match-up.

With new coach Michael Ericson and returning captain Tamara Luke at the helm, this season is set to be an exciting one.

We sat down with Ericson to preview the season and it’s safe to say, the coach is looking forward to what his side can produce in 2024.

Michael, how has pre-season been?

“It’s been very good. There have been lots of learning with a lot of new players, new staff and a new game plan to learn. It’s kind of like a whole new program, which has been fun.”

How did the team go in their practice matches against Casey and Williamstown?

“The practice matches were about playing against opposition and seeing our list together in action. We got a win down at Casey and even though we got beaten by Williamstown, we got to see how the players have gone with some of the things we’ve been trying to implement at training. Both practice matches have essentially been pretty positive.”

Who are some of the new faces on our list?

“We’ve got players like Jess Matin and Rosie Dillon that have come from the Saints, Olivia Barber who has come from both Collingwood and Geelong and Tess Cattle from GWS. Along with those players with AFLW experience, we’ve also had players recruited from around the country. Jess Cox has come across from Western Australia and Danika Spamer and Tess (Cattle) have come from New South Wales. Plus, we’ve got players from Sandringham, Oakleigh, Eastern and Gippsland. It’s going to be exciting to see what all these players do throughout the year when they get their opportunity.”

Who are some of the familiar faces impressing?

“Tam Luke is one name that comes to mind. Tam has done everything in football and our players look up to her and the standards she sets. She’s the first person at training, the last one to leave and she’s willing to talk to everyone on the list no matter where they fall. She’s our captain and I think she’ll be fantastic at gelling the two groups together (AFLW and VFLW). I look forward to her having a really good year.”

How has it been having AFLW players integrate into the squad?

“They’ve really raised the standard at training and helped VFLW players see what they need to do to be able to play at the highest level. They’re training with some of the best AFLW players in the nation and learning and developing so much from them. Hopefully once the AFLW pre-season really gets into full swing and we’re predominantly a VFLW side, we’re going to see that these players have taken those next steps in becoming better footballers and maybe in 12 months, we might see them on an AFLW list.”

How important is it to have the support of Hawthorn fans?

“If you’re interested in Hawthorn and you’re interested in women’s footy, I’d be getting down to the games. The first two games are road trips to two great grounds in Casey and GMHBA Stadium and then we’re at home for a nice patch so it’ll be good to get as many people down as we can, especially as there are a lot of double-headers with the VFL. It’s going to be great to see the exciting talent in the VFLW that’s coming through and that will be pushing for AFLW spots. Plus, you’ll of course get to see AFLW players in action.”


2024 VFLW fixture

  • Round 1 v Casey Demons – Sunday 24 March, 11.05am at Casey Fields
  • Round 2 v Geelong – Saturday 30 March, 2.10pm at GMHBA Stadium
  • Round 3 v Collingwood – Saturday 6 April, 12.05pm at Fenjiu Stadium (Box Hill City Oval)
  • Round 4 v Williamstown – Saturday 13 April, 11am at Fenjiu Stadium
  • Round 5 v North Melbourne – Saturday 20 April, 11.30am at Fenjiu Stadium
  • Round 6 v Sydney – Sunday 28 April, 3.30pm at Fenjiu Stadium
  • Round 7 v Western Bulldogs – Sunday 5 May, 2.30pm at Whitten Oval
  • Round 8 v Southern Saints – Sunday 12 May, 11.30am at Wonthaggi Recreation Reserve
  • Round 9 v Darebin – Sunday 19 May, 12.05pm at Fenjiu Stadium
  • Round 10 v Carlton – Saturday 25 May, 2pm at Ikon Park
  • Round 11 v Essendon – Saturday 1 June, 12.05pm at Windy Hill
  • Round 12 v Geelong – Sunday 9 June, 11.30am at Fenjiu Stadium
  • Round 13 v North Melbourne – Saturday 15 June, 2pm at Arden Street
  • Round 14 v Port Melbourne – Sunday 23 June, 11.30am at ETU Stadium

How to watch

Stream all games on the VFL website and app or get down to a game in person – entry to VFLW games are free! Box Hill memberships are also available here.

Feature image taken by Georgia Lee.