VFLW: Round 10 Talking Points

Before his side’s Round 1 voyage, VFL Women’s coach Patrick Hill spoke of his goal to “change the perception” held by their opponents of Box Hill being a bottom-end side.

Over the first half of the season, Box Hill steadily coalesced as a unit and undoubtedly earned the respect of their opponents. However, it wasn’t until their thrilling Round 9 victory over the Seaford Tigerettes that the Hawks achieved irrefutable proof of their development. Following the VFLW bye-round, they sit in ninth position above Seaford and have a chance to move further up the ladder when they come up against the Cranbourne Eagles at Frenken Homes Oval this Sunday from 2pm.

The feathers flew when the Hawks hosted the Eagles in Round 4. The match was an arm wrestle for three quarters before Box Hill’s nerve failed them in the last quarter and Cranbourne escaped with a 13-point win. There is a point for our girls to prove about how far they have come when they take to the field.

Here are five talking points for our VFLW team ahead of Round 10…

  1. Moving on with the win
    For the first time this season, the Hawks will hit the field coming off the high of a win rather than the long reflection of a loss. Although Hill celebrated the hard-earned victory as much as his players, he is aware that mental preparation will be more important than ever in Round 10. “Generally when you’ve had a close loss you go away and you analyse it and you come back and work on the things you need to work on,” says Hill. “I reckon sometimes after a win you think you’re good enough to just come out and repeat it next time. I a pretty stern with my praise sometimes with the Gen Y kids but it is a little bit different. But I have to make sure they focus on what they have to do this week.”
  2. After the bye: a change of speed, a change of style
    The VFLW bye week gave the Hawks some R&R before they head into the final act of their maiden season. For reinvigoration’s sake in the week leading up to Sunday’s match, both Box Hill VFL squads trained together on Tuesday night. “Most of the squad got away over the weekend and then training on Tuesday with the VFL guys was something a bit different,” says Hill. “We’ve certainly freshened up mentally but we really focused on Wednesday night as to what we want to do and what we want to achieve.”
  3. Our second bout with Cranbourne
    At the time, the Round 4 loss was the closest Box Hill had come to a win. The Hawks did a lot right over the course of the match but were ultimately left rueing what would have been a morale-boosting victory. This time, Box Hill will have the experience to iron out the wrinkles. “We had a couple of shots in the third quarter we should have put away and we didn’t; I think the real focus for us this week, and it sounds a bit clichéd, but we really want to play our way and that’s probably the one thing against Seaford. We got over the line but we didn’t have your style of play,” says Hill. “So this week is going to be a real concentration on playing our way and letting results take care of themselves.”
  4. Time for Flanagan to shine 17-year old star Olivia Flanagan makes her way back into the VFLW side after placing in the All-Australian squad while playing for Victoria Metro in the AFL Women’s Under 18 Championships on the Gold Coast. “Anyone who knows Liv knows she’s a pretty level-headed person and doesn’t have a lot of ego about her. She’s not the sort of person to get over confident in her own abilities and there’s a lot of people in her position who maybe would. I think she’ll get some confidence out of this and start to see what we see in her. I’ll expect her performances to go up.”
  5. Managing a young squad
    Box Hill have the youngest team in VFLW and managing players through the second half of the season will be a challenge for the Hawks’ brains trust. “We’ve been managing as we go through but it’s probably the older ones that you have to not forget about, the wear and tear on their bodies is just the same. Players like Mel Kuys who played five or six games of AFL before the season started will be managed the rest of the season. I am mindful that it’s probably great that Liv Flanagan had the week off before and after the championships to rest because some of these young kids play a lot of games and we do have to make sure we don’t cook them before the year’s end.”


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