MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 26: Hawthorn Football Club VFLW Coach Bec Goddard talks during a press conference on November 26, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg announced the Government’s contribution to the Hawthorn Hawks AFL Football Club's Kennedy Community Centre at the future site of the facility in Dingley Village. (Photo by Graham Denholm/Getty Images)

Hawthorn will become the first AFL club in VFLW/AFLW history to have an all-female coaching team.

The club announced on Wednesday that all positions within its VFLW coaching structure will be held by women.

The AFLW competition has only one female head coach and five coaches in the VFLW league are female.

The VFLW coaching team will be lead by Senior Coach Bec Goddard.

Goodard will have support from Assistant Coaches Christina Polatajko and Hayley Gregory, with Lou Wotton, Natasha Beck and Steph Carroll have been selected as development coaches.

Hawthorn CEO Justin Reeves is proud of the new coaching line-up and the future direction of the VFLW Hawks.

“While 2020 placed a serious handbrake on our VFLW program, the club decided that it would not let these obstacles hamper the future plans of our VFLW, and in the coming years, AFLW programs,” said Reeves.

“In the current industry climate, there is a significant gap in the development pathways available to female coaches and in our discussions, it became clear that if nothing changed then we’d continue to find ourselves looking for top-end female coaching talent and be unable to find.

“By implementing an all-female coaching panel, in a structured environment with the right support and development opportunities built into the program we will be making a significant and meaningful contribution to the furtherment of women’s participation in the AFL.

“This is undoubtedly the right decision for our club and for our game. We are committed to growing women’s participation in sport across all levels and the time to make significant change and lasting impact is now.”

VFLW Coach Bec Goddard praised the importance of change and is excited for the future.

“A healthy attitude about what women can achieve is contagious and to be a part of a club that wants to be a carrier of that attitude is fantastic,” said Goddard.

“Overt action is the key to getting diversity in roles across the AFL and it takes brave leadership to make bold moves like this.

“This coaching panel combined with Hawthorn’s support, is kicking down the door to these opportunities so others can walk through them.”

“I’m so excited for young, inspiring and current AFL players to see what these women can do and I am confident that under this new model at Hawthorn these women will now get their moment to shine and others will follow in their footsteps.”