The Hallam Football Netball Club celebrated a significant milestone on Saturday with the club participating in its 100th senior match in the Southern Football Netball League.
The club commemorated the occasion with a thrilling eight-point victory over Black Rock at McDonald Reserve, improving its season record to 7-1 as it remains firmly in premiership contention.
The 100-game milestone comes in a historic year for the club, as it celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2017. Previously fielding only juniors and women’s teams, the Hawks officially became a senior entity in 2012 as it joined the SFNL’s Division 3 competition.
The club has also enjoyed a meteoric rise on-field in the last two seasons, and has now shed its easy-beat tag. The Hawks had been the whipping boys of Division 3 for several seasons before breaking through for a maiden finals berth in 2016, and are fast becoming one of the Southern League’s powerhouse clubs.
The club also claimed its first piece of senior silverware earlier this year when it defeated last year's Division 1 runners-up Bentleigh to win the inaugural SFNL Seymour Law Cup preseason competition.
Hallam have also made SFNL history this year, becoming the first club to field teams in every single SFNL competition. The Hawks are represented in each of the men’s football divisions with Senior, Reserves, Thirds and Under 19 football teams, as well as featuring female representation through Women’s Football and the introduction of netball in 2017.
Hallam President Matthew Brew praised the work of the club’s administrators, both past and present, for their role in building the club and helping get it to its current position.
“It is a fantastic achievement to hit 100 Senior games for any club, but it is all the more sweet for the quality of the Hallam people and it is a testament to those before me who have allowed us the opportunity to continue on our quest to greatness,” Brew said.
“It goes without saying that this year we are 50 years strong, and (we are) currently in a fantastic position on and off the field.
“But it won’t stop here. This year the addition of netball has added dynamics and different personnel to the fold, as well as a solid Under 19s program, which has grown significantly over the last three years.
“We are one club, we are the mighty Hallam Hawks.”
Additionally, Hawk Sean Gaitley has become the first player in the club’s brief history to reach the 100-game milestone.
Gaitley has been a mainstay of the Hawks' senior and reserves sides since the club’s inception and Brew praised his dedication to the team through it’s tough period.
“A junior footballer at Hallam, Sean was never gifted with natural ability, but thrives off his relentless pressure, determination and willingness to see ball, get ball,” Brew said.
“Sticking through the hard times was easy for ‘Gaitors’ as the Hallam passion and drive is in his DNA.”