The Melbourne Hawks Football Club, nicknamed The Hawks,
is an Australian rules football club playing in the Australian Football League (AFL) based in Melbourne, Victoria.
Founded after the merging of two clubs; the Melbourne Demons and the Hawthorn Hawks, the club has been relatively succesful in its first decade (1997-2007) playing in five grand finals (2000, 2003, 2004, 2006 and 2007) but only winning two (2003 and 2007).
Shortly after its' victory in 2007, the club fell from being top of the ladder in 2007 to 13th in 2008 followed by 14th in 2009, but came back after the return of the captain Troy Broadbridge, getting to 5th in 2010 and 7th in 2011.
Following a vote in Melbourne, the AFL approved the second ever club merger (after Fitzroy and Brisbane). The Melbourne Demons and the Hawthorn Hawks combined to create the Melbourne Hawks. Before the end of the season, both teams were not doing in their financial sector, but the Hawks were doing fairly average on field. On 4th of November 1996, after the end of the season, both clubs officially merged to become the Melbourne Hawks, entering the game in 1997.
Early Beginnings (1997-1999)
Following their first losses in the first five matches of the 1997 season, the club finally won against the other merger team, the Brisbane Lions 117-84. It was their first win in the season and by that margin caused the fans to go wild. Throughout the rest of the season they managed to win 9 more games, before coming nineth on the ladder. Over the next two years, the club came in 9th every time. This gave rise to the popular phrase "position nine hawks".
A New Decade (2000-2009)Following its three years finishing 9th place, Melbourne began a recruiting campaign, employing major players from other clubs and the NFL. They turned the tide midway through the 2000 season, finishing 5th. After beating Carlton in the elimination, Essendon in the Semi's, North Melbourne in the Preliminaries and went on to their first final against Geelong, but lost their footing in the third quarter after having a 15 point lead, and losing by eight. In the next two years the hung around the top eight coming in at sixth place and eighth place. Then in 2003, they pushed through to 2nd place, and following a close game in the Preliminary against Brisbane (87-86), they managed to get into another grand final, this time against Sydney. After being down by four points until the last two minutes, when the ruck Jeff White kicked a goal. This was Melbourne's first victory. After that, they managed to come in 3rd in the 2004 season, they once again play Brisbane in the Preliminaries, and then Sydney in the Final, which this time they lost, 153-137. Following the loss they settled down into the 2005 season, coming in at first place but losing to the Western Bulldogs in the Preliminaries. The Bulldogs went on to get their second ever grand final victory. However the following year was far different. Melbourne came in 8th position, thus having to go through all the finals before getting to the grand final. They managed to get there due to the abilities of their captain Troy Broadbridge. During the finals run, he kicked 24 goals and 17 behinds. Thanks to his tactic, he landed them in the grand final against West Coast. But it was completely different to the finals series. They were behind 21 at the end of the first quarter and by the end of the game it scores were West Coast 166- Melbourne 104. It was an embarrassment for the club. By this time they had been through four grand finals and won only one. In 2007, they came in first, wining all but two games in the entire season. They then steamrolled the finals series but winning all of them with 40 or more points on top of the other teams. In the grand final the club took on its old rival, Sydney. The Swans (Sydney) took a lead in the first quarter then Melbourne in the next them Sydney in the third. By the final five minutes, the scores were locked, Melbourne on 43 and Sydney on 41. Melbourne held out and won the final, finally getting their second premiership and first win since 2003.
Time of Troubles (2008-2009)
After their second grand final win, the Brownlow medalist and captain of the club, Troy Broadbridge was reduced into a comatose state after his car and knocked off the side of the rode during his return from a party. His condition would not end for another two years, and would affect his team. Melbourne entered the season with high hopes, even if they didn't have their captain. These high hopes were smashed by the end of the year, with only four wins. It was the first time since 1999 were the club didn't get into the finals series. This was even further cemented when in 2009, they only won two games. The financial situation was also getting desperate. The team had lost two million dollars, even losing valuable sponsors. This loss, however, would be short lived as on the 14th of November 2009, Troy was released from the hospital and took up training with the Melbourne Hawks once more.
Return to the Top Eight (2010-present)
After the return of the clubs captain, it became very apparent that the club was coming back. During the 2010 season they climbed to 5th spot, and getting to the Preliminaries only to lose to Carlton. This comeback and the fact that they club is now debt free showed the other clubs that the Hawks were back. In 2011, the club had come in 7th position and lost in the elimination round. This loss and their losses throughout the season, especially to the newest team, the Darwin Buffaloes, once again showed the growing weakness as throughout the previous decade, the club held firm and got to five of the finals, more than every other team, but now in 2011, they have not managed to even get into a grand final for four years.
The Melbourne Hawks home jumper consists of a gold v-neck on a red background. The v-strip separating the red and the blue meet at a Hawks symbol. This symbol was used as the logo of the old Hawthorn Hawks.
The club also has an away jumper which is used when playing in other stadiums. This has a red v-neck on a red background. On the right side there is no border between the red and blue but on the left there is the head of a hawk, which was made specifically for the Melbourne Hawks.
|Home Jumper||Away Jumper|
Club SongThe clubs theme song "Gold, Red and Blue" is taken from both the old Melbourne Demons song and Hawthorn Hawks song.
|2016||TBD||To be contested|
|Premiership Record||Premiership Record|
|AFL||Runners Up||3||2000, 2004, 2006|
|AFL||McClelland Trophy||2||2005, 2007|
|VFL/AFL||Minor Premiers||2||2005, 2007|
- Highest score: Round 15, 2001 (MCG) – Melbourne 29.11 (185) v North Melbourne 12.19 (91)
- Lowest score: Round 8, 1999 (The Gabba) – Melbourne 1.6 (12) v Brisbane 11.3 (69)
- Highest losing score: Round 21, 1997 (MCG) – Melbourne 27.13 (175) v West Coast Eagles 26.23 (179)
- Lowest winning score: Round 13, 2004 (MCG) – Melbourne 2.11 (23) v Port Adelaid 2.9 (21)
- Biggest winning margin: 156 points – Round 3, 1998 (MCG) – Melbourne 24.32 (176) v Fremantle 3.2 (20)
- Biggest losing margin: 190 points Round 18, 2000 (Patersons Stadium) – Melbourne 4.25 (49) v Fremantle 29.38 (212)
- Record attendance (home and away game): 98,394, Round 21, 26 August 2007 at MCG v Sydney
- Record attendance (finals match): 119,137, Grand Final, 29 September 2007 v Sydney