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From the Herald-Sun
Full article - Click here
The jubilant Hawks celebrate on the siren.
BOX Hill Hawks have completed one of the VFL’s most stirring finals campaigns after a come-from-behind 10-point grand final victory over Casey Demons at Etihad Stadium.
The Hawks, sixth on the ladder after the home-and-away rounds, became the first team to win the premiership from outside the top four since the competition was revamped and a top-eight system introduced in 2000.
The Box Hill Hawks celebrate with the VFL premiership cup. Source: HeraldSun
Box Hill trailed for the entire game until midway through the final quarter after reeling in a 22-point deficit early in the third term.
Kieran Lovell put the Hawks up for the first time in the contest after a classic piece of roving off the palms of dominant ruckman Marc Pittonet, giving the Hawks a two-point advantage.
Draftee Dylan Moore then sealed the come-from-behind win after receiving a free kick in the goalsquare for high contact, giving the Hawks their second state league premiership in six years.
We can defy odds in Victorian Football League quest once more | From the Press Box with Melanie Whelan
From the Ballarat Courier
Reported by Melanie Whelan
Full article - Ballarat Courier
BELIEF: Roosters captain Shaune Moloney reflects on the 2008 VFL premiership cup. The club went on to win the next two in an historic three-peat.
THIS was a huge risk but on this night, almost 10 years ago, players were ready. They believed.
North Ballarat Roosters defied the odds and claimed the club’s first Victorian Football League premiership.
This was a country football team taking on the state’s best, cohesively working in players from a partial AFL alliance with North Melbourne and proving what many had thought was unlikely.
A decade on, Ballarat needs to decide, as a football community and a city, whether it can take the risk to believe again.
The VFL grand final is on Sunday afternoon. This is the first season in 22 years Ballarat has not been prepared to put a team out on the park to watch what might be possible for our region’s most promising players.
We can pretend like it does not greatly matter – we’ve got quality leagues and a good senior Ballarat Football League flag showdown set for Saturday.
But it is not really a challenge anymore. We are comfortable and our best players are pretty comfortable.
There is still a VFL flavour about the BFL but this influence on the grassroots game will fade.
The Roosters offered a clear pathway for players in western Victoria and for other country footballers, who preferred the regional lifestyle and what Ballarat had to offer. This was particularly in being a place to study at university and play state league football without having to be based in Melbourne.
This was the pathway that has produced AFL talent like Hawthorn triple premiership midfielder Isaac Smith who, 10 years ago, was happily on his way to winning a flag with Redan in a quality Ballarat Football League final.
Redan encouraged Smith to take a leap of faith and try VFL about midway through the next season.
Or, like Sydney Swan Dean Towers, a Colac boy who was studying teaching at University of Ballarat. Towers won the Fothergill-Round Medal as VFL’s best under-23 player in 2012, then drafted a month later.
The pathway is about more than producing draftees.
Grand final night, a Friday in 2008, the Roosters were in uncharted territory.
They had been in VFL grand finals before – this was their third – but this was something different. This night was the first VFL grand final under lights, the first at the Docklands stadium, the first in a double-header with TAC Cup under-18s and it turned out to be the first in a premiership trilogy.