Top 10 Hawka Highlights of the Decade

Let’s take a quick look back at the Top 10 Hawka Highlights of the Decade from 2010 to 2019, a decade of huge change for Boronia Hawks that will take the Club in to the Twenties in great shape! Apologies to everyone who doesn’t get a well-deserved mention – I’m thinking of you Jess Bolton and Tim Currie! All opinions in this article are those of your Editor and are not the official views of the Club.

10. Lachie Watson’s Mark of the Year in 2016

Lachie Watson has taken a few huge grabs over the journey, but he was immortalised by the sharp video work of Brad Phillips as Watto took the best Hawka mark of the decade and won the EFL Play of the Year. The mark even drew comparisons with the best aerial work of Paul Marshall and Craig Beattie – enough said.

Lachie Watson on the way down with a different spectacular mark on the same day at Silvan!

9. Alex McKaige wins 3 Netball B&F’s

Alex McKaige is a double-dipper, playing both netball and footy with the Hawka in 2019, but has taken home three netball B&F’s in four seasons with Boronia Brown in 2016, 2017 and 2019. Alex also took out her first Kellie Newton Medal for the Club B&F in 2019.

Alex McKaige keeping things under control with Courtney Krenn always in support.

8. Lachie McKernan 4 years as Senior Captain

Lachie McKernan joined some of the great champs of yesteryear as he captained the senior men for the fourth consecutive season in 2019. Other notables to achieve this recognition of leadership include N. McNeil 1961-64, P. Harrington 1968-71, Michael Passmore 1991-94 and Peter Farrell 2001 to 2004.

Lachie McKernan provided great leadership for the Hawks and won a coveted mid-field spot in the EFL Team of the Year in 2019.

7. Mitch Mellis 3 Junior League B&F’s

Mitch Mellis won EFL Junior League B&F’s in 2011, 2013 and 2014 plus six Junior Club B&F’s. That’s a sure sign of an extraordinary player, which has been borne out in 2019 as Mitch represented Vic Metro, was runner-up in the Eastern Ranges B&F and was signed by traditional powerhouse Williamstown FC.

Mitch Mellis in his last game for the Hawks before being called up full-time to Eastern Ranges.

6. Dean Grice 3 Club B&F’s and 2 League B&F’s

The incomparable Dean Grice won three of his six Bob Henry Medals in this decade and two of his four League B&F’s. It would have been more except for a season with Port Melbourne and a severe knee injury. Gricey also kicked the Hawka’s Goal of the Decade in the storm at Mitcham in 2011 when he played the single best game by a Hawka that your Editor has seen in the last 24 years.

Mitch Wright coming in for the Shepherd of the Decade to assist Dean Grice with the Goal of the Decade.

5. Boronia Auskick rebooted in 2018.

Boronia Auskick Centre was rebooted for a new era as it moved to Friday nights at Tormore Reserve for the 2018 season. With a huge 90 registrations that year Auskick Co-ordinator Luke Biddau opened up new opportunities for boys and girls to learn their footy with the Hawks. Samantha Dunkinson took over the role of Co-ordinator in 2019 and took the Centre to a new level of success with increased participation, diversity, sponsorships and accreditation as an All Abilities centre. Auskick has been an outstanding success, bringing back memories of the late 90’s when the Club had over three hundred Auskickers.

Heath Rouse and Kyle Schmidtke were just two of the many willing helpers that were teaching our future champs in 2018.

4. Inaugural EFL Netball Premiership in 2014

The EFL launched it’s fledgling netball competition in 2014 with only one division, a far cry from the nine divisions in 2019. Boronia was the only club to field two teams due to the outstanding recruiting efforts of Kellie Newton. Boronia maintained it’s edge on the competition by winning the inaugural premiership under the coaching of Matt Bundy. Jess Thomson scored over 400 goals and Steph McNay won the inaugural League B&F. Another Premier Division flag followed in 2017.

The mighty Boronia Hawks won the flag under the leadership of co-captains Kellie Newton and Rebecca Mills.

3. The One Club Initiative in 2017

In a masterstroke of foresight, planning and co-operation, the Club’s Senior President, Kristan Wood and Junior President, Ellisa Schmidtke, worked together to unite seniors and juniors under the banner of ONE CLUB – the newly named Boronia Hawks Football Club. This provided the Club with a seamless pathway from Auskick to Junior Footy to Youth Footy to Senior Footy and eventually Veterans. Despite all the administrative challenges of integration, the Board and Committees worked hard and achieved a truly unified Club.

The One Club Volunteer Induction Day in November 2017 brought together some of the senior and junior officials and volunteers.

2. Women’s Footy

It all started in 2017 when two girls, Demi Thomas and Brynie Kinniff, turned up to our Junior Registration Day and signed up to play Women’s Footy. Next we needed to find a coach and, after many possibilities, Club Legend Ray Lacey stepped forward for the Hawks once again with Senior President Scott Nicholas as assistant and eventual Co-Coach.

Nine “possible” players attended the first training session and a few months later fourteen players then turned out for the first practice match – a somewhat discouraging loss by 185 points, all part of the learning experience. But the girls loved it and the word soon spread as new players kept turning up to join a truly inclusive, supportive and fun team environment. Goals were rare and the first win didn’t come until August 2018, but the excitement was infectious and created a whole new feeling around the Club.

More girls, goals and wins followed in 2019 as the Hawks launched two teams for junior girls. The Under 16’s even enjoyed premiership success as a merged team with Knox. Women’s football is booming and Boronia is moving to two senior teams in 2020 and is also hoping to increase our participation for junior girls to keep growing the Club’ female footy program.

Bottom of the ladder in 2018 but still a hugely successful season for the senior women that was followed up by a finals appearance in 2019.

The Number 1 Hawker Highlight of the Decade – The 2018 Triple Premiership!

The 2018 season had been reasonably successful, with seniors, reserves and under 19’s all making the finals. The pundits around the Club said the seniors were a rough chance despite Ringwood’s dominance; the Two’s were our best bet; and the 19’s would need a huge turnaround to overcome Heathmont and Waverley Blues.

We got off to a rough start in the first week with the One’s putting in a shocker against Scoresby and the 19’s getting soundly beaten by Waverley Blues. Then it all turned around …… the three Hawka teams progressed to the Triple Header Grand Final Day with six wins in weeks 2 and 3 of the finals series. The 19’s just scraped in for a tilt at the flag with a three point thriller over Heathmont.

The 19’s were now on fire and Craig McKenzie’s boys set the benchmark for the whole Grand Final day with a nail biting 5 point win over the favourites in the Grand Final. The astute Craig Brockley ensured that the D Squad did not let a golden opportunity slip and recorded a convincing 20 point win over the strong and experienced Scoresby. The stage was now set for the seniors and they delivered in spades, with team lifting goals inspiring both the players and the large crowd of Boronia’s faithful supporters. A sixteen point margin at the end saw the previously undefeated Ringwood being outgunned by a tremendous team effort that started with the planning from coach Matt Clark and his brains trust. A memorable day for the Hawka, with the first triple premiership since 1969.

2018 Premiership Captains Fletcher Duke, Lachie McKernan and Dane Romano share the podium after the incredible Triple Premiership.

Xmas Message from Senior President

Samantha Dunkinson (Junior VP), Alan Tudge MP (Member for Aston), Bob Henry (Hawka Legend) and Greg “Flash” Hannon (Senior President). (Photo by Kieran Griffin)

On behalf of our senior committee, I’d like to wish everyone a safe and happy Christmas period. This time of the year is always an opportune time to reflect on the year past and search for what we have to look forward to in the year ahead. I would argue strongly that the role of a community football/netball club has never been more important.

Supporters at Tormore Reserve (Photo by Kieran Griffin)

The digital world has offered us so much but with it comes greater levels of anxiety, mental health issues and disconnection from society. What does a club like Boronia Hawks offer? We offer a community of friends that actually talk to each other, that offer support to each other and that offers a ‘home’ away from home for people to ‘escape’ the pressures of day to day life and to be with people that have a similar aspiration – to make our community club be as good as it can be.

2019 Senior Women’s Team at the Knox Club (Photo by David Nicholas)

Our club is very much a community. We have people from a variety of backgrounds and on the whole, we treat each other with great respect and care. I know this because new people that join our club tell me how welcoming we are and how much they value our club ‘culture.’

New players Anna Moulday and Sharnee Emmanuelli (Photo by Scott Nicholas)

No club is perfect, but if we all work together with a solution focussed mindset, great things can be achieved!

This season saw our teams play finals; we invested in technology to support our coaching/playing group; we invested in player well-being programs and we invested in capital works ( new ground lighting ). We were able to do this and still be vigilant in managing our expenditures and ensuring that we can offer our players a ‘high performance’ environment to play in.

Scott Nicholas (Club Chairman), Mitchell Wright (High Performance Manager) and Ashley Johnston (Football Director). (Photo by David Nicholas)

Every year players leave and players join our club. For those who have decided to leave ‘The Hawka,’ we wish you nothing but great success and enjoyment at your new homes. Clearly understand, you are always welcome back at Tormore. Do not be strangers! To those that have joined us, we look forward to welcoming you to our club. For those like Harry and Andy who are returning, it’s great to have you back boys!

New players for 2020 Tom Long, Taylor Legate and Sean Young. (Photo by David Nicholas)

Thank you to everyone that has supported me in my first year as Club President and I hope you all have a great summer break with your families.

Greg “Flash” Hannon