Inaugural Grand Final Success to Hawks

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On the weekend Hawthorn were crowned Premiers for 2023 in the Robert Rose Foundation Victorian Wheelchair Football League Grand Final, overcoming an experienced Richmond team to take out the win by 63 points at MSAC.


Heading into the game, Hawthorn Captain Jo Argaet was the only member of the team who had been with Hawthorn since its inception in 2018. 


Being an inaugural member of the Hawks, she knew what a victory would mean for all those who had helped establish the club both on and off the court.

The Hawks transformation this year was astounding, with the team struggling for consistency in previous years and having never made the finals before this season.

Captain Jo Argaet giving her pre game message as Captain of the Hawthorn VWFL team (Narissa Byrne Photography)

In Round One, against eventual Grand Final opponents Richmond, the Hawks were outclassed to the tune of 129 points, which led many to believe that this was going to be another difficult season in terms of achieving success.

However, with a few younger recruits joining the fold and under the watchful eye of coach Andrew Harrison, the Hawks became the team to beat this season, with a powerful line up and an enthusiastic game style that made them fun to watch.


Game day arrived and with a crowd of close to 800 people watching, including Lions great Jonathon Brown and Hawthorn Social Inclusion Ambassadors in Sam Frost and Dylan Moore, the Hawks took to the court ready to make history.

Jontee Brown played a superb role as the chief playmaker of the Hawthorn VWFL team.(Narissa Byrne Photography)

From the get go it was a tough and physical encounter, with Richmond trying to outmuscle and put the young Hawks off their game, most notably with their attack off the ball on young forward and latest Hawthorn goal centurion, Yassan Hill.


This didn’t deter the young Hawks who took the game to their much vaunted and more experienced opponents, with the Hawks using their fast game style and attack from defence to set up many attacking raids at goal.

Jontee Brown, an Australian wheelchair basketball member, was the chief playmaker from defence, using his speed around the court and his ability to read the play to often find a forward free and in a great position to hit the scoreboard.


Jaylen Brown dominated through the ruck and used deft taps from centre stoppages to allow the Hawks to continuously foray into attack, while often getting back in the last line of defence to stop certain Richmond scores.

Yassin Hill, the first goal centurion at Hawthorn since Buddy Franklin, showed poise in front of goal and seemed to embrace the constant barrage of physicality from the Richmond defence, which spurred him on to scoring 12 goals for the game and being named best on court in the grand final.

Jaylen Brown putting his body on the line in a physical Grand Final clash. (Narissa Byrne Photography)

His partner in crime in the forward line, Finn Broadbent, was a constant threat in attack and showed his want for team success, often blocking or taking a physical hit so that others in the team were able to hit the scoreboard. 


When the siren sounded, it was jubilation for the whole team, having reached the pinnacle of Wheelchair Football and being crowned premiers, taking out the game to the tune of a 63 point victory, 123 points to 58.

It was even sweeter for five of the members of the team including Jo Argaet, Yassin Hill, Hayden Auber, Gerard McCarthy and David Ralph who are all diehard Hawthorn tragics and were able to experience the euphoria and triumph of winning a premiership in their beloved brown and gold.


As they received their premiership medals and premiership t-shirts, the young Hawks had tasted team success for the first time in the competition, which was a great reward for effort, determination and positivity, with all vowing to come back next year and be the first Hawks to achieve back to back flags in Wheelchair Football.

Yassin Hill celebrates one of his 12 goals in Hawthorn's 63 point Grand Final victory. (Narissa Byrne Photography)

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