Hawthorn Football Club is thrilled to have secured the services of AFLW premiership-winning coach Bec Goddard ahead of the 2020 VFLW season.

Goddard will fill the position of senior coach, left vacant by the departing Paddy Hill who spent three years at the helm.

Goddard comes to the brown and gold with a stellar resume. Most notably, she became the AFLW’s inaugural premiership coach in 2017, after expertly guiding the Crows through their first senior campaign. After two seasons in Adelaide, she returned to Canberra and continued her work with the Australian Federal Police. Goddard also coached as an assistant with the Canberra Demons in the 2018 NEAFL season.

Her sporting repertoire extends far outside of the football coaching box; she was an assistant coach for the championship-winning UC Capitals (WNBL) in the 2018/2019 season, and also holds the title as the first female field umpire in NEAFL competition.

Hawthorn CEO Justin Reeves says Goddard’s appointment is a fantastic acquisition for the club.

“We’re extremely pleased to have Bec joining our club as senior coach of our VFLW program ahead of the 2020 season,” Reeves said.

“She is an accomplished and respected leader who will be able to impart incredible insight on our program.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming Bec into the Hawthorn family.”

Goddard becomes the fourth female coach currently heading up a VFLW program - a growing figure that Reeves believes will encourage young female aspiring coaches.

“The last few years have been instrumental in giving female athletes the opportunity to play football at an elite level,” Reeves said.

“Bec’s appointment should serve as inspiration to these players that not only can they pursue football careers, but there are now pathways for females to have successful coaching careers too, which is fantastic.”

Goddard, a lifelong Hawks supporter, says she is eager to get to work.

“It feels like I’m living a dream,” Goddard said.

“To have another opportunity to coach football at an elite club, and to be joining the team I grew up supporting is incredible,” Goddard said.

“I’m so excited to work with a group of players who have experienced VFLW success and to help them take their games to the next level.

“Everybody currently involved in the program will play a role in the journey towards an AFLW license, and every step we take from here should be towards ensuring we have a robust and successful program when we enter the AFLW competition.”

Goddard is currently deployed offshore with the AFP. She will return to Australia in mid December before travelling down to Melbourne to meet the team.

The VFLW senior coach will be supported in 2020 by returning assistant coaches Brett Alexander and Hayley Gregory, as well as Development Coach Yul Mustapha, while retired Hawk Steph Carroll will assist the coaching panel in a development/mentoring capacity.