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AFL Blind team reaches new heights

Ned & Joe receive honours Ned Brewer-Maiga and Joe Chivers were honoured with the top honours for their respective teams at Saturday nights PCM.

Hawthorn’s AFL Blind team has continued its stunning inaugural season, with the Hawks winning their way through to the VBFL Grand Final. 

On Saturday, the Hawks defeated the St Kilda Sharks to put themselves straight into the Grand Final on Saturday the 12th of October. 

The VBFL players, along with the VWFL side, were honoured at the Peter Crimmins Medal count on Saturday night, with both best and fairest winners announced. 

A life-long Hawks supporter and 2019 vice captain, Ned Brewer-Maiga was named as the AFL Blind team’s best and fairest. 

“I’ve always dreamed about running out there and kicking goals and to do that in the Hawks colours, it’s pretty incredible,” Brewer-Maiga said when accepting his award. 

“I had a lot of sight for most of my life, so I had played a bit of footy.

“I lost a lot (of that sight) so I thought that dream of playing footy was over, but I'm very, very fortunate to live that dream out now.”  

Hawthorn’s AFL Blind players will have their work cut out for them this Saturday when they take on the undefeated Bulldogs. The two sides first met in Round 1, when the Dogs handed the Hawks a 150-point defeat in their first ever game.

But, the Hawthorn players didn’t drop their heads, showing vast development as the season went on. When the two clubs met again in Round 4, the margin was trimmed to 36 points – a 114-point improvement.

Hawthorn’s AFL Blind team will take on the Bulldogs for a third time on Saturday in the big dance.

Meanwhile, the Hawthorn wheelchair team was also applauded for their best season to date during the Peter Crimmins Medal ceremony on Saturday, as first-year player Joe Chivers took out the best and fairest award.

A dedicated sportsman, Chives showed incredible commitment, making the journey from his home town in north Hobart to Melbourne for every game.

“The reason I do it is because I had a dream many, many years ago to play football at an elite level,” Chivers explained on Saturday night. 

“(But) I had a skydiving accident 10 years ago, where I sustained a spinal injury and I thought my football journey was over, so when the opportunity came along to come over and play, I jumped at it.” 

After a winless inaugural season in 2018, the VWFL side saluted twice in 2019 – first, a 31-point win over the Bombers in Round 4, before following up with an 18-point victory over Collingwood a week later.

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