Hawthorn has strengthened its commitment to community and grassroots footy following the extension of its partnership with Eastern Football Netball League (EFNL).

The collaboration, which has seen Hawthorn work hand-in-hand with the EFNL for the past decade to develop and support footballers at all levels in the community, is now set to continue for a further three years.

Along with ongoing player appearances, match-day experiences and school holiday programs, the top crop of EFNL’s junior players will be taken into the inner sanctum of Hawthorn’s four walls at Bunjil Bagora, Waverley Park. The rare experience in the club’s elite high-performance environment is aimed at educating and inspiring the next wave of junior stars.

Also as part of the partnership, a special EFNL interleague guernsey has been designed by Hawthorn’s platinum partner ISC which will be worn by all junior interleague players in their upcoming interleague competition across the King’s Birthday weekend.

To celebrate the partnership extension, Hawthorn will dedicate its upcoming Round 12 AFL match at the MCG to grassroots footy, with exclusive ticketing and membership offers for EFNL footballers and their families, coaches, umpires and volunteers.

From just $5 for juniors and $10 for adults, the EFNL footy community is encouraged to show their local pride by wearing their club colours at the MCG. By attending the game, local clubs will have the chance to win a variety of prizes, including signed footballs, guernseys, and more.

Hawthorn Chief Executive Officer Ash Klein said the partnership extension with the EFNL futher solidifies the club’s commitment to community footy.

“This initiative highlights Hawthorn's ongoing commitment to fostering strong community connection and promoting the growth of grassroots football,” Klein said.

“Since this partnership began in 2015, we have seen so many wonderful relationships fostered between players and coaches at Hawthorn and their counterparts in the community.

“Not only does this collaboration allow us to give back at the local level, but it helps us educate, inspire and develop players, coaches and volunteers within the EFNL community to strengthen clubs and promote higher levels of community engagement and inclusion.”

EFNL Chief Executive Officer Jy Bond said he was thrilled to extend the partnership with Hawthorn.

"This collaboration goes hand-in-hand and by working together, we can provide player development and elite pathways and opportunities to our EFNL community, enhancing their overall football experience," Bond said.

“Both the league and Hawthorn are unified in our approach, as indicated with our joint designed interleague jumper.  Both the EFNL and Hawthorn aim to promote and foster junior participation and development ensuring the pathway journey for our players through club, interleague and elite is clear and professional.

"This extended partnership between Hawthorn Football Club and the EFNL signifies a shared vision for the future of continued growth and sustainability of football within the EFNL region.”

With thousands of men, women, boys and girls playing within the EFNL, the league boasts a rich history stretching back as far as the early 1900s. Notable Hawthorn players who originated from EFNL clubs include Senior Coach Sam Mitchell (Mooroolbark), Blake Hardwick (East Doncaster), James Blanck (Park Orchards), Dylan Moore (Rowville), Nick Watson (East Ringwood), Josh Bennetts (Lysterfield), Clay Tucker (Rowville), Jenna Richardson (Donvale), Kristy Stratton (Scoresby), Bridget Deed (Seville), Hayley McLaughlin (Blackburn), Jess Vukic (Vermont) & Laura Stone (SBL Wolves).