THE premiers of the Victorian Football League (VFL) Women’s competition were one of the in-form teams throughout the season. The Hawks scraped through for some close wins while also showing their dominance with some big victories.
Position: 2nd (Premiers)
Round 1: Defeated Essendon by 39 points
Round 2: Defeated Casey Demons by seven points
Round 3: Defeated Carlton by 51 points
Round 4: Bye
Round 5: Lost against Collingwood by seven points
Round 6: Defeated Southern Saints by 33 points
Round 7: Defeated Essendon by 27 points
Round 8: Defeated Richmond by four points
Round 9: Defeated Williamstown by four points
Round 10: Defeated Melbourne University by five points
Round 11: Bye
Round 12: Defeated Southern Saints by nine points
Round 13: Lost against Darebin by four points
Round 14: Defeated Western Bulldogs by 55 points
Round 15: Defeated NT Thunder by 25 points
Round 16: Defeated Geelong Cats by 16 points
#1 Emma Mackie
The skipper led from the front in marvellous fashion this season, putting her body on the line and proving to be an inside bull. Mackie’s football smarts partnered with her power gave opposition midfielders headaches, as she was able to move the ball swiftly through the midfield. Mackie had a cracking game in Round 3 against the Blues, racking up 29 disposals, taking four marks, laying 11 tackles and kicking a goal.
#5 Chantella Perera
The Lisa Hardeman medalist was a standout all season, with coach, Patrick Hill trusting her to shut down dangerous opposition forwards The former basketballer showed her agility in defensive 50, taking athletic marks and showcasing her exciting run and carry. Perera placed fifth in Hawthorn’s Best and Fairest count.
#8 Rebecca Beeson
The Greater Western Sydney (GWS) star was a ball magnet this season, consistently racking up high numbers of disposals. Beeson had the ability to float up forward and also dominate in the midfield, proving to be a highly versatile player for the Hawks. Her kicking and handballing was fantastic and she always endeavoured to go forward with the ball in hand. Beeson placed second in Hawthorn’s Best and Fairest count. She starred in Round 15 with 30 disposals, eight marks and three tackles.
#25 Meg Hutchins
The heart and soul of female football was a joy to watch this season, proving that despite retiring from AFL Women’s, she can still play the game very well. Hutchins was dominant in the back line, taking plenty of intercept marks and getting her side out of trouble on multiple occasions. She could shut down key players or play as a loose player, and could succeed in both roles. Hutchins came third in Hawthorn’s Best and Fairest count and stood out in Round 7, when she racked up 19 disposals and took five marks.
#36 Jayde Van Dyk
A deserved Hawthorn Best and Fairest winner, Jayde Van Dyk was an absolute star in the backline. Van Dyk impressed with her football smarts and agility, combining them both to use the ball well both by hand or by foot. The VFLW Rising Star could stop key players in their tracks and used her run and carry to effect multiple times this season. She led the way in Round 8 when she gathered 26 disposals, six marks and nine tackles against the Tigers.
The premiers didn’t do much wrong this season, only dropping two games. Among the 12 wins, Hawthorn experienced some real character-building wins, with seven of those wins being under 10 points. This showed the Hawks’ composure and resilience to get the win, making them deserved premiers of the VFLW.