The new eastern seaboard competition has been unveiled, with the Box Hill Hawks set to be part of the newly formed second tier fixture.
Due to be played across three states by a combined 22 teams, the competition marks an exciting new era for Australian Rules Football in both its heartland, Victoria, and developing territories New South Wales and Queensland.
Scheduled to begin in April of 2021 , the second tier competition will be a 16-round season plus finals and comprise of teams from the three eastern seaboard states - 15 of which will be aligned to an AFL program.
The VFL and East Coast Second-Tier Competition will integrate into a streamlined calendar for men’s football with the 2021 NAB League Boys, with both seasons set to begin in April, running concurrently with the 2021 Toyota AFL Premiership Season.
“2020 has been a year unlike any other for our code and everyone in the community, but today is the chance for all of us to look toward 2021 with great enthusiasm,” said Box Hill President Ed Sill.
“There’s no question this will be the premier second tier competition for the elite football talent on their journey to the AFL.
“Further, the quality of football that will be played and the opportunities it will come to afford everyone involved such as -players, coaches, support staff and partners - will underline its status as the best development pathway in football.
“The board of the Box Hill Hawks would like to recognise the outstanding work done by the AFL, all clubs and everyone else involved to get football on the eastern seaboard to today’s announcement.
“It’s been a true collaboration and we’ll all share in the growth and prosperity the game is set to see as a result.”
We embrace the added exposure the on-field opportunities this announcement presents to our club and our stakeholders and remain mindful that we have a responsibility to represent and continue to develop football in Melbourne’s east.
“This competition will be perfect platform to exploit our strong alignment with Hawthorn, continue to put resources into consolidating our relationships at grassroots level and progress the redevelopment of Box Hill City Oval,” said Sill.
“The Box Hill Hawks are well-positioned to make the most of this new competition and the benefits won’t be ours to enjoy alone, but for our broader community for generations to come.
“We can’t wait to share this journey with everyone.”
Box Hill will enter the competition with Sam Mitchell as their new senior coach - as confirmed earlier today.
2021 will mark the 20th year of Hawthorn and Box Hill's alignment - making it the longest running VFL/AFL alignment in history.
Confirmed licences for new competition:
Standalone Second-Tier Clubs: Aspley, Coburg, Frankston, Northern Bullants, Port Melbourne, Southport, Werribee, Williamstown
Standalone AFL Clubs: Brisbane Lions, Carlton, Collingwood, Essendon, Footscray, Geelong Cats, Gold Coast SUNS, GWS GIANTS, North Melbourne, Richmond, Sydney Swans
Aligned Clubs: Sandringham, Box Hill Hawks, Casey Demons