Anderson backs Hawks’ Defence

The Box Hill Hawks have the best defensive record in the VFL heading into Round 18 – conceding less than 10 goals in each of their past four matches.

Hawks’ assistant and defensive coach Stuart Anderson attributes the club’s impressive backline to the player’s self-belief and discipline.

“The main thing we tell the players is to back themselves and to have belief in the structures regardless of the situation,” he said.

A pre-season poll on Box Hill’s website revealed that the majority of supporters wanted to see a stronger defensive system – it looks as though they may have gotten their wish with Anderson at the helm.

After playing football for both North Melbourne and Fremantle, Anderson became the development coach at Gippsland Power.

He joined the Box Hill Hawks in season 2015 and is adamant that the club’s alliance with Hawthorn has not been an obstacle for maintaining continuity within the defensive unit.

“I spend two days a week at Hawthorn so I am able to build my own relationships with those players… this allows me to know what they are like when they come into Box Hill’s squad,” he said.

Players like Sam Collins and Kurt Heatherley have been key components to Box Hill’s defensive unit over the past month – both seem to be prospering under the leadership of their captain and fellow defender in David Mirra.

“We have strong communication and rely on each player to apply as much pressure as possible when the opposition has the ball,” said Mirra.

Anderson’s defensive unit has so far been able to successfully negate opposing attacks and is effective in beginning the club’s rebound scores.

Box Hill and Stuart Anderson will be hoping to keep the Hawks’ defensive record intact when the squad travels to Geelong this Saturday.


Photo credit: Jenny Owens

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