Glen Orden has been on a rebuilding mission for the past 12 months in anticipation of a return to senior men’s football in the Western Region Football League.
The Hawks will re-enter the competition through division 3, returning in better shape than when they had to pull out of the competition before last season.
Hawks senior coach Phil Crea said the club was focused on building a top side through hard work and the development of young players.
“We don’t want a quick fix and buy a premiership,” he said. “We want to develop players and pass on a bit of our experience to them and create a good young team.”
Crea was thrilled to be offered the coaching position at Glen Orden.
The 49-year-old from Werribee spent six seasons with the Hawks as a player and watched his two sons play at the club.
He wants to see the Hawks thrive in the long term and will leave no stone unturned to ensure he leaves the club in a much better place than he found it.
“It was unexpected,” he said of his appointment. “Coaching a club with no players was a bit strange at the start, but full credit to the players that have put up their hands and signed up – because if it wasn’t for the players, I wouldn’t be coaching.
“It’s just exciting rebuilding the club again. We’ll put in a good culture and make it an enjoyable place for people to be again.”
The time out of the competition was both good and bad for Glen Orden.
Off the field, it allowed the Hawks to balance the books, but on the field it cost them some key players who have not returned.
“It gave the committee and [club president] Peter MacDonald a chance to get rid of a bit of the debt,” Crea said.
“It did hurt us a little bit because we lost some players to other clubs that aren’t coming back.
“But we’re excited now. The proudest moment will definitely be when we get two sides out there.”
With a team in the new WRFL women’s football competition, anticipated growth in the junior base and the intention to enter a team into the new WRFL netball competition, Glen Orden will serve families better than ever before.
Just like the Hawthorn Hawks in the AFL, Crea wants Glen Orden to be known as the family club.
“We want a good culture off the ground where you can bring your family down and everyone has a good time,” he said.
“We want our partners and their kids to be able to come down and watch their other halves play.
“That’s our goal – to be a family club and an enjoyable place to be.”
Glen Orden will continue to welcome new players and sponsors right up until the start of the season in April.