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The Bentley boost

VFLW: Hill on Round 1 Paddy Hill reflects on Hawthorn's round 1 game against Northern Territory Thunder.

Hawthorn’s VFLW side has received a massive boost with the arrival of AFLW star Kirby Bentley to the club. 

33-year-old Bentley is one of the most experienced and respected players in women’s football and comes to the club fresh from three years in the AFLW system.

Originally from Western Australia, Bentley was taken as a priority pick by Fremantle for the first season of AFLW in 2017. During that season she played every game, averaged 10 disposals and was named in the All Australian squad.

A knee injury later that year caused the midfielder to miss the entire 2018 season. She returned to the game this year, moving across to Carlton and playing three games in AFLW 3.0.

Read: VFLW match preview - Round 2

According to Bentley, Hawthorn’s professionalism and success are what drew her to the club’s VFLW program.

“Hawthorn’s a really well established club and pretty advanced in terms of their program - I’d compare it to the standard of other AFLW aligned clubs,” Bentley said.

“We have a good group of experienced leaders and coachable young players.

“I’m looking forward to sharing my experience and helping other players around me as much as I can.

“In saying that, I’m always learning too so I hope to get the same from the girls and the coaches along the way.

“It’s an exciting team to be a part of and I can’t wait to pull the Hawthorn jumper on for the first time.”

Coach Paddy Hill was thrilled to welcome Bentley to the club.

“To be able to pick up someone of Kirby’s quality and experience is massive for our group. 

“Her ability on the field will be matched most certainly by what she can offer off the field in terms of mentoring and supporting our younger players.”

 

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