Securing the signatures of former Lions duo Emily Bates and Greta Bodey has generated plenty of excitement amongst Hawthorn fans, with the club signalling a clear intent to add proven quality to its playing list.
Joining a young and developing group, Bates and Bodey will now form part of the nucleus of players hoping to deliver success in the brown and gold.
Can the experienced pair propel the Hawks into finals contention in season eight?
An AFLW Best & Fairest winner in 2022, classy midfielder Emily Bates has established quite the resume throughout her time at Brisbane, earning a reputation as one of the most consistent performers in AFLW.
The 27-year-old’s arrival at Hawthorn will significantly bolster Bec Goddard’s midfield stocks, easing pressure on Hawks skipper Tilly Lucas-Rodd who shouldered the bulk of the responsibility during season seven.
Bates will also likely serve as a terrific role-model for Hawthorn’s young midfielders, particularly the likes of Jasmine Fleming and Charlotte Baskaran. Throw in emerging ruck Lucy Wales and tackling-machine Tamara Smith and the Hawks can build the foundations for sustained future success.
Equally damaging on both the inside and outside, Bates offers much-needed polish to the Hawthorn engine room, complementing contested ball winners Lucas-Rodd and Smith. Her strength at clearances should also assist the Hawks in delivering cleaner forward 50 entries – an area which was lacking last season.
It’s no coincidence that Bates is a three-time All Australian and multiple club Best & Fairest winner with Brisbane. She is a star of the competition who will now be looking to add to her legacy in the brown and gold.
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Goals, goals, and goals. The signing of Greta Bodey is set to provide Hawthorn with significant firepower and x-factor inside forward 50.
Across 42 games with Brisbane, Bodey kicked 35 goals and proved herself as a constant threat in attack, offering opposition defenders plenty of headaches. It’s this nous around goal which the Hawks will look to profit from in 2023, having finished season seven ranked 15th for goals kicked.
Blessed with electric speed, Bodey will likely give the Hawks an extra edge at ground level, complementing the team’s current forward mix. Dynamic duo Aileen Gilroy and Tahlia Fellows produced strong campaign’s last time around, and will welcome further support up forward.
Hawthorn’s inaugural AFLW campaign saw them look to put speed on the ball and transition swiftly whenever possible, a game-style which should also suit Bodey. However, it will be interesting to see how the 27-year-old deals with likely less supply than what she has been familiar with at the star-studded Lions.
Been there, done that
Who says you can’t buy experience? Bates and Bodey arrive at Hawthorn with a combined 108 games worth of AFLW experience, helping to offset the retirement of former Hawks vice-captain Jess Duffin.
Both accustomed to a winning culture at Brisbane, the duo should play an important role in driving high standards at the Hawks, fully knowing what it takes to achieve the ultimate success.
Hawthorn’s youngsters will be eager to absorb as much knowledge as possible from the pair, potentially accelerating the club’s climb up the ladder.
How much impact can these two former Lions have in new colours?
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