From the Hawthorn Football Club website
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Hawthorn Football Club has announced an exciting step in their commitment to women’s football, announcing Box Hill Hawks will enter a team in the 2017 Swisse VFL Women’s competition.
The Box Hill Hawks VFL women’s team will provide a clear talent pathway for women in the eastern region and promote progression from junior through to elite level.
While the club made the considered decision not to lodge an application for an AFL Women’s team for 2017, Hawthorn Football Club CEO Stuart Fox said this was the next step in furthering the club’s current women’s strategy.
“This is an exciting announcement for the Hawthorn and Box Hill Football Clubs,” Fox said.
“Hawthorn is firmly committed to the development of women’s football, in particular ensuring an impact at grassroots level.
“Today’s announcement will allow female footballers in the eastern region a terrific pathway for their development and hopefully encourage females to play football from a junior age.
“We currently have affiliations with the Eastern Regions Youth Girls Academy, Prospect Hawks Youth Girls team in Tasmania and Big River Hawks women’s team in Katherine and the addition of a Box Hill Hawks VFL Women’s side will further our commitment to women’s football at grassroots and state level.
“It is an exciting time for our club and further extends our partnership with Box Hill Hawks.
“Our alignment with Box Hill has spanned over 16 years and it is fantastic that our relationship allows us the opportunity to have an immediate impact on women playing football at a grassroots level.”
Patrick Hill has been appointed the inaugural senior coach of the side and takes on the role after building an extensive coaching resume.
Whitehorse Colts players Ebony Nixon, Adriana Piva, and Bronte Bliston-Gourley pictured here with Chris Newman, Alastair Clarkson and Paddy Hill will attend the Talent ID Day at Waverley on 26 November.
Hill joined the Box Hill Hawks coaching staff in 2011 as an assistant coach of the premiership-winning development league team.
He was promoted to senior assistant of the senior team from 2012-2014, where he was a part two grand final appearances and one premiership.
Hill then took on the role of Senior Coach at Frankston Football Club where he has coached for the last two seasons.
The Hawks will host a Talent ID Day at Waverley Park on November 26 and Hill encouraged young women with a passion for football to register their interest.
Information regarding the Talent ID Day can be found here.
“This is a terrific opportunity for young women in the area to further their development and align themselves with a terrific club.
“I’m looking forward to assessing the talent and encourage all those interested to register by November 21.”
Box Hill has secured Rookie Me – the Official Talent ID Partner of the AFL – as the testing body for the Talent ID Day.
On behalf of Box Hill’s VFL Women’s Team, Rookie Me will gift every athlete participating in the trial day a free 12-month subscription to the Rookie Me online system.
Hawthorn becomes the second AFL club to announce an affiliate VFL Women’s side following Geelong’s announcement last month.
The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs