VFL Team: Hawks Set Six Ins for Sandy Showdown

Zane Littlejohn and his match committee have made six changes to the side beaten by Footscray last weekend, headlined by a pair of AFL-listed stars for their first hit-outs of 2024.

Denver Grainger-Barras and Changkuoth Jiath have both overcome pre-and-early season injury setbacks to be named to pull on the brown and gold on Sunday, while Cooper Stephens, a late withdrawal last weekend joins them on the comeback trail from a niggle of his own.

Josh Ward and Harry Morrison re-join the squad following stints in the AFL program, while Andreas Stefanakis, who featured in Box Hill’s first five matches of the new campaign, returns to the 23 having been squeezed out of the squad seven days ago.

Three of the team who faced the Doggies at the Whitten Oval miss via knocks or niggles sustained in the 13-point loss, with Henry Hustwaite in concussion protocols, Ned Reeves nursing a sore hand and Jack O’Sullivan also on the injury list.

Jai Serong’s standout display in the narrow defeat at the kennel has been recognised and rewarded by Sam Mitchell, with the tall defender recalled for the senior side’s trip to Tasmania.

Meanwhile, developing tall Josh Tovey and hard-running utility Andrew Mathieson have been omitted and retained as emergencies.

And while Stu Horner won’t want the attention, Sunday marks his 50th senior game in the brown and gold of the Box Hill Hawks.

A much loved, admired and respected figure, Horner’s journey at City Oval takes in the last days of the Development League and, crucially for his maturation as a player, the senior coaching tenures of Marco Bello, Chris Newman, Max Bailey, Sam Mitchell, Clint Proctor & Zane Littlejohn – as well as countless teammates, all of whom have shaped the exceptional leader and player Stu has become.

Be sure to get down to Wonthaggi Recreation Reserve for a mammoth day of state league footy, with our VFLW side entertaining the Southern Saints from 11:30am and our VFL boys taking on Sandringham from 2:05pm.

With thanks to Bass Coast Shire entry is free for both matches, while a spate of off-field activations will round out the action on the field. 

Our final team will be communicated prior to Sunday’s first bounce. 

Ins: D. Grainger-Barras, C. Jiath, J. Ward, C. Stephens, A. Stefanakis, H. Morrison

Outs: J. Serong (AFL), H. Hustwaite (concussion), J. O’Sullivan (inj.), N. Reeves (inj.), J. Tovey, A Mathieson 

Squad: 1. H Morrison, 9. C Jiath, 20. C Wingard, 21. C Stephens, 24. D Grainger-Barras, 25. J Ward, 26. B Ryan, 37. Eth Phillips, 38. M Ramsden, 41. J Bennetts, 42. B Macdonald, 45. C Tucker, 50. M Hall, 51. N Philactides, 52. B Cavarra, 55. C Porter, 60. E Phillips, 62. S Horner, 65. A Stefanakis, 66. C Brown, 68. D Wood, 77. B De Bolfo, 99. T Brown

Emergencies: 59. J Rule, 72. A Mathieson, 75. J Tovey, 78. K Agosta, 84. J Peacock

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