VFLW Talking Points: Bye Round

Our VFL Women’s side heads into the bye round this weekend with their historic first win finally in the bank after the Hawks clawed their way home against the Seaford Tigerettes by four points in Round 9. For coach Patrick Hill, the victory was a relief and a breakthrough after eight straight matches of near misses and hard lessons.

1. All to plan?
It was scrappy, ugly and low-scoring but a win’s a win’s a win. Hill has revealed that the steep learning curves of previous matches was the inspiration for Box Hill’s victory.
“Life is about failing and then learning from it to succeed next time. We probably didn’t get it done in those first few matches but we had to go through those experiences and those experiences taught us a lot. We came up with some strategies of how we would deal with it the next time and the girls were able to draw on those experiences with the strategies we’d put in place.”

2. The turning point
Box Hill were able to win despite a third quarter in which they should have taken the match beyond Seaford’s reach but instead kicked 0.9 to leave the match in the balance. In a see-sawing contest with an endless parade of 50-50 moments, Hill said the team took it upon themselves to consolidate ahead of a gripping last quarter.
“Speaking to the girls it was probably a different turning point for them that it was for me. For me it was probably calming down at three quarter time and coming up with a plan going forward but for them it was probably the point when Seaford kicked the goal in the third quarter. That was probably the point where they started focusing on what they needed to do.”

3. Pushing the ceiling
The team was cheered on by a delighted Box Hill crowd, including the entire VFL side, with many seeing the team play for the first time. Hill has a message for them: the resilience was there, but the effort against Seaford was well below what his team can achieve. The Hawks’ maiden victory was far from pretty and Hill says his team’s reflection in the rooms afterwards was a sign of their developing maturity.
“Although they were ecstatic to win, there were some mixed feelings among the group that they weren’t overly happy with how they played. They certainly want to display a better style of football going forward. They’re really after a win where they’re proud of what they’ve produced.”

4. Bye round: where’s your head at?
VFL Women’s has a competition-wide bye round this weekend so our Hawks will have a well-earned rest before gearing up for a second crack at the Cranbourne Eagles in Round 10.
“I want them to not think about footy at all, to be honest. There’s some conditioning work they need to do to get their bodies where they need to be, but resting up, having a mental break from it all. It’s a good opportunity for the coaches and support staff to think about their lives, do the homework they need to do, have some down time and spend some time with friends and family.”

5. Next major goal
The talk has been all about getting the first win. Now, that box is ticked and Hill’s side must move on to establishing themselves as a consistent, professional and skilled side to earn the respect of rival VFL Women’s clubs.
“We still believe we’ve got more wins in us but sometimes the old argument is that you’d rather win ugly than lose pretty. We’re still looking to build four quarter performances that we can turn into a win but really it’s about the style of footy that we want to play.”

Photo: Kadek Thatcher Photography

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