VFL Women’s Round 7: Talking Points

The road for our VFL Women’s side in their maiden season was never going to be easy and our Hawks are set to face another major challenge when they take on Diamond Creek in their Round 7 clash at Box Hill City Oval from 11am tomorrow.

Following their heavy loss to Darebin in Round 6, the Hawks come up against the ladder-leading Diamond Creek. For coach Patrick Hill, there will be no better test for how well his young side has absorbed the lessons from playing Darebin than their performance against the Creek.

Here are five talking points ahead of Round 7…

  1. Learning and improving
    It would be easy to focus on the Hawks’ steady improvement but Hill is forthright about his side’s deficiencies against Darebin. “We were aware of how Darebin like to defend the ground so we wanted to try to combat that but that was probably our biggest failure of the day. Our ball movement wasn’t good at all, we went right away from what we were trying to do. The other thing was to stifle their ball movement and we were moderately successful at that… we held them up around the ground at times. Our defenders were terrific. We’re really big on team defence and our forwards got involved in defence to help push numbers back there.”
  2. Rubbing off the gilt
    French author Gustave Flaubert once wrote, “Never touch your idols, the gilt comes off in your hands.” Last week, Box Hill got right in the faces of the most famous women’s football side in Australia. Following up with Diamond Creek is just that – a follow up. “It’s not to downplay Diamond Creek at all, they’re on top of the ladder and they’ve played sensational footy. It’s not the same sort of risk of stargazing but we’re under no misconceptions of what the task is this week.”
  3. Curbing Diamond Creek’s forward line
    Diamond Creek’s three-pronged forward line of Chloe Molloy, Sophie Abbatangelo and Christina Bernardi (39 goals combined) has been the secret to their success in 2017. “[Molloy’s] a fairly ferocious player and when you think of a leading goal-kicker you think of a tall lead-out forward but she’s a different sort of player. Bernardi’s out this week and Abbatangelo was terrific last week, she’s obviously someone we have to watch. As always, if you don’t win at the source you’re going to be in real trouble down the other end. We need to make sure we hunt the footy and win it down there. We spent a fair bit of work this week on transitioning the ball from defence to attack and that was the main focus to improve.”
  4. The rise and rise of Chantella Perera
    Chantella Perera is making a name for herself as a giant-killer in VFL Women’s. Perera started the season in defence but has since graduated to a tagging role on the opposition’s most dangerous player. She held the mercurial Darcy Vescio to just one goal last week, claiming the marquee star as her latest scalp. “She’s got some athletic ability and traits that transition to our game very well. She runs like someone that’s 165 centimetres but she’s actually got height on a lot of the girls, which makes her really versatile for us.”
  5. Finding a way to goal
    With main goal-scorer Emily Gilder set to spend Round 7 on the sidelines, Box Hill’s forwards will need to lift to put scoreboard pressure on the ladder leaders. “We rely on team structures to move the footy and we’ll offer up another couple of opportunities. Shay Taylor comes back in and she probably didn’t have her best games when she first played with us but she’s done nothing wrong since, her training’s been really good and she’s been really good in local footy.”

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