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Whitey gets his medal

VFL GF: Song The Box Hill Hawks sing the team song as the 2018 VFL premiers.

BOX HILL has capped off a remarkable VFL finals series, willing itself to a magnificent 10-point victory over the Casey Demons at Etihad Stadium to secure its second flag in six years.

In front of a crowd of 12,884, the Hawks came from 25 points down in the opening term to post the 10.12 (72) to 8.14 (62) win.

Experienced Hawk Brendan Whitecross won his first premiership since being drafted in 2007, having seen Hawthorn win four flags in that time and Box Hill claim the VFL crown in 2013.

Casey started on fire, with two goals in the first four minutes, and it seemed the Hawks were exhausted after their finals campaign. 

However, they responded thanks to the ruck domination by Marc Pittonet, while Dylan Moore was dangerous in attack to finish with three goals.

Box Hill midfielder Kieran Lovell's goal on the run midway through the final term gave the Hawks a two-point lead, the first time all day they hit the front. 

Whitecross paid tribute to the growth of a young group which never lost its composure.

"There's no doubt in my mind that in that overtime against Port Melbourne we learnt a lot. It's an experience you can't really buy for these younger guys, and I think that's what's held us in good stead for this finals series," Whitecross said.

"It's really promising signs ahead, for not only Box Hill, but for Hawthorn with the young guys that are coming through."

The 28-year-old is out of contract and wants to remain a Hawk, but is philosophical about what the future holds.

He played six matches for the AFL team this campaign, having managed 27 since the start of 2015.

"My heart and head is certainly invested in this footy club but I'm under no illusions (about) the game that AFL footy is," Whitecross said.

"It's going to be a testing few weeks to find out what's going on. There's some big calls to be made by Hawthorn and a lot of footy clubs.

"I hope [my future is] here but I've got a lot of things to look forward to and if it doesn't happen to be AFL footy, then I've given it all I've got."

Brendan Whitecross celebrates with his sons after the game. Picture: AFL Photos

He was appreciative of the support he received from wife Kelly, his two sons Cody and Harvey, and his father Phillip.

"It's really special because for me, my family has ridden the bumps pretty hard with me over the last five or six years through knee reconstructions, missing out on finals, the ups and downs of not being selected and playing a lot of VFL footy," Whitecross said.

"For me, it's not just a medal around my neck. It's massive credit to my wife. She's had to deal with some pretty frustrating times, coming from myself this year, and previous years. She's certainly the backbone of my footy career."

The match marked the final game for Demon Bernie Vince, who bows out as one of six players to have lined up in 100 games for two AFL clubs and won a best and fairest at both. 

The 32-year-old retired with 229 career matches, with 129 of those at Adelaide.

He rushed back from shoulder surgery in August in a bid to contribute to Melbourne's finals campaign, which ended on Saturday after a preliminary final thumping at the hands of West Coast.

Vince had a late chance to bring the margin back to four points but his shot on the run hit the post.

"We certainly let one slip ... in any grand final if you get run down like that it's disappointing," Vince said.

"It's disappointing I couldn't go out on a high both in the AFL and VFL but that's footy. No one guarantees you anything in this game.

"But we move on ... I'm still really comfortable with the decision (to retire).

"Hopefully the young kids got some good finals experience at both AFL and VFL level and can use that in the future."

- with Jason Phelan, AAP

CASEY DEMONS         4.4       5.9       8.11     8.14 (62)
BOX HILL                     1.1       3.4       7.8       10.12 (72)

GOALS
Casey Demons: Smith, Lefau, Kennedy Harris, Machaya, Bugg, Scott, Lockhart, Pedersen
Box Hill: D Moore 3, Ross, Hanrahan, Lewis, O'Brien, Willsmore, A Moore, Lovell

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs