A host of Hawthorn recruits have shown their faith by committing to the club’s exciting AFLW future.

Despite not yet playing an AFLW game, pre-signing trio Hayley McLaughlin, Laura Stone and Jess Vukic as well as draftees Mikayla Williamson and Sophie Butterworth have all put pen to paper beyond the 2024 season, with McLaughlin and Stone committing until 2026, while Vukic, Butterworth and Williamson have signed on until the end of 2025.

McLaughlin, Stone and Vukic all joined the Hawks ahead of the 2023 AFLW national draft after dominating with the Eastern Ranges and Vic Metro across their junior careers. Meanwhile, Williamson and Butterworth were selected by the brown and gold in the draft at Picks 17 and 45, respectively, after both playing with the Dandenong Stingrays and Vic Country. 

The teenage quintet has already shown promising signs for the future while playing for Box Hill ahead of the upcoming season. 18-year-old McLaughlin and 19-year-old Williamson have made the most of their midfield opportunities, 18-year-old Stone has been strong at half-back, 19-year-old Vukic has been immensely competitive in the ruck and up forward while 18-year-old Butterworth has shown positive signs inside 50.

Mature-age recruit Kristy Stratton has also put pen to paper until the end of 2025 off the back of a highly impressive debut season with the Hawks, playing all 10 games in 2023 to finish in the top 10 of the club’s best and fairest.

The wave of fresh commitments follows previous signings from fellow recruits in Emily Bates, Greta Bodey, Casey Sherriff, Eliza West, Casey Dumont and Mattea Breed.

Hawthorn AFLW List Manager Keegan Brooksby welcomed the exciting news.

“Our recruits have shown an incredible commitment to the Hawks,” Brooksby said.

“Each individual brings immense value to the club and we’re so excited to see so many show their faith in the direction we are heading.

“Hayley, Laura and Jess, along with our draftees Mikayla and Sophie have all been fantastic over the off-season, getting to work straight away and demonstrating their skills in the VFLW, which will hold them in good stead as they embark on their first AFLW season.

“And we also know what a success story Kristy was in 2023, so it’s fantastic that she wants to be here for the journey.

“Coupled with the existing commitments from Emily, Greta, Eliza, Mattea, Casey Dumont and Casey Sherriff, we’re excited about what we’ve built and the direction we’re heading in as a club.”

Under new coach Daniel Webster and other recently committed players, including Jasmine Fleming and Laura Elliott as well as 10 inaugural stars of the club, it is an exciting time to join the club as an AFLW member. Sign up below!