The Formative Years
The Wimbledon Hawks started out as the London Hawks in 1990. The club was formed by Martyn Hughes, Steve Poulsen and Mark Hall. The drivers in the early days were Steve "Seve" Coppard and his wife Sue, Baz Brown and Michael Hooton. After a few year, Seve and his wife remained constant figures around the club and helped the Hawks win a number of premierships.
Initially based in the Herne Hill Velodrome, the Hawks enjoyed the best facilities of the league - the only team with terraces and stadium and pubs near by. Made homeless for a period of time from the council's reluctance to support the sport, we moved west and shared the grounds at Wimbledon Rugby club. We had some gun players in the early days. John Frith, Mark Diamond, from ACT, O'Brien from Diamond Valley, and a mate of Frithy's who was a rover for Port Melbourne along with McFairlane, O'Brien and the mercurial boot of KFC "Keith F'n Currie". Back then the Hawks logo for 1990 was "London Hawks 1990 where the XXXX were you?"
In mid 90s the Hawks saw an influx of players from Melbourne and in particularly from Salesian College in Melbourne. They were joined by some of the Hawks Legends, Geoff Jackson, Bruce Williams and Daryl Flashman who all became vital to club and took on coaching roles in years to come.
Back then, 90% of the players lived and partied in Wimbledon. All of the Hawks Premierships were won in the first decade of the club's existence. This might have been due to the 15 blokes living under the one roof later to be known as the Hawks most infamous house, Russell Road. The parties held there were legendary. On one occasion the boys turned the backyard into a sandpit to hold a beach party. The club was extremely successful because of the friendships made and how tightly the group stuck together.
The Early 2000's
In 2000 they moved to Motspur Park and rented what was to be the best ground and facilities in the league at KCS Old Boys Rugby Ground.
In 2009, the Hawks moved again but just across the road to Sir Joseph Hood Memorial Playing Fields. Once again the Hawks were blessed with having the best facilities in the league, with on-site changing and showering facilities, bar and BBQ.
They also field a second side, the Balham Hawks, in the London Social division. In 2012 the Balham Hawks, or more fondly known as the Aubergine Machine, reached the Grand Final after knocking out the Ealing Emus and North London in the finals. Sadly the machine didn't take home the silverware but put in a gallant fight and thus wrote themselves into the Hawks book of legends.
Here Come The Ladies
In 2014 the first female, Tia Bool, joined the Wimbledon Hawks. She played in one social game before AFL London decided it was not safe for her to do so again. After Tia and Rachel Kilmartin joined the club, a couple of more girls joined after hearing there were girls playing with the Hawks; Chloe Raso, Olivia Potts and Lisa Wilson, of French, Australian and English nationalities respectively. These ladies, affectionately named Hawkettes, decided to run a few Ladies exhibition games to promote the sport with a lot of help from the boys, namely President Ross Ashman and Vice President Alistair Sutherland. The first one in July 2014 at the Hawks Ladies Day saw 20 girls take to the field for the first time in London to showcase the sport for women.
After the success of Ladies Day there were a few more exhibition games and the word spread enough for 3 other Clubs in London to put their hands up and say they wanted to start ladies teams, and so the WAFL London league was born.
2015 saw the Hawkettes grow rapidly with training sessions reaching up to 20 girls attending. A committee made up of Lisa Wilson as President, Olivia Potts as Secretary and Jo Gardner as Captain led the Team to a very strong start in the first ever Ladies AFL season, being unbeaten until half way through the season. The Hawkettes made it through to the Grand Final in August but were just out played by the Wandsworth Demons team.
At the 2015 Presentation day, 2 awards were created to commemorate two key players on the Hawlettes team: the “Bambi: Most Improved Award” named after Rachel “Bambi” Campbell and the “Sparky Star: For contributions to the club” award named after Lauren Spark and given to Sysy Hong for the first year.
2015 saw the Wimbledon Hawks celebrate their 25th year in brown and gold.
2016 saw Wimbledon bring home their first flag in 18 years when our ladies beat North London Lions 10.5.65 to 0.0.0 with Lauren Spark winning best on ground for the final. This was after an unbeaten season for the ladies going one step further than 2015 when they finished runners up to the Wandsworth Demons. The season was considered successful for the Men's sides also with 2016 being the first time that all grades made finals footy.
Stephen Poulsen and Martin Hughes - Founding members.
Nick Katsivelos Club Stalwart.
Jason Elliott of the Carins Tigers.
Paul Francis (VC), Ross Ashman, Gareth Blackstaffe-Turner and Joe Watkins English Players all representing Great Britain at the 2011 International Cup in Sydney and Melbourne. Also at the European Championships in Denmark and Sweden in 2010.
In 2015 Ross Ashman, Myles Hudson and Jason Hill represented England at the AFL Europe Euro Cup in Croatia finishing runners up.
Also in 2015 Lisa Wilson, Jennifer Bennett, Charlotte-Ellen Eales, Amanda Yuen, Louise Darby, Lea Cobham, Danni and Alex Saulter represented England at the Euro Cup also in Croatia bringing home the trophy with a convincing 54-6 win over Denmark. Rania, Danni and Lea were also selected in the team of the tournament.
In 2016 Jason Hill, Myles Hudson, Marc Cashman and David Hastie represented Great Britain at the AFL Europe Championships where they were crowned champions beating Ireland in the Grand Final. Myles and Marc were also elected to the team of the tournament. In the Women's competition Lisa Wilson, Jennifer Bennett, Charlotte-Ellen Eales, Louise Darby and Jess Milford represent the GB Swans in their first competitive outing. Former Hawks Lea Cobham, Danni Saulter and Alex Saulter all also represented GB. Jason Hill, Myles Hudson, David Hastie, Lisa Wilson, Jennifer Bennett, Charlotte-Ellen Eales and Louise Darby were also selected to represent England at the annual 9-a-side event, AFL Europe Euro Cup, in Lisbon, Portugal. England men's finished 3rd while the women's team finished runners up. Chloe Raso was selected to represent the French national side, Rachel Kilmartin was selected to represent Scotland, Jordan Wynne was selected to represent Wales and Stiofan Mac Finn was selected to represent Ireland (finishing runners up).
In 2016 Kate Shierlaw was drafted as a rookie to Carlton for the inaugural Women's AFL after learning the game in Wimbledon. Kate finished the regular season with 13 goals for the club.
In October 2016 Lauren Spark was selected with the 76th pick of the inaugural Women's AFL by The Western Bulldogs, the club she'd previously played for.
In 2017 the Ladies team took the AFL Europe European Championships.
In 2017 numerous members of the Hawks were selected to represent Great Britain at the International Cup.
For the Bulldogs - Jason Hill, Myles Hudson, Marc Cashman, David Hastie, Andy Cochran, Luke Booth, Alex Overton, Chris Britton, Owain Ryland and former player Ross Ashman (now at Manly Wolves)
For the Swans - Lisa Wilson, Louise Darby, Jen Bennett, Alex Peill, Charlottee-Elen Eales, Jess Milford and Stacey Hughes.
International calls ups continued throughout 2018:
GB Bulldogs - Jason Hill, Myles Hudson, Marc Cashman and David Hastie
GB Swans - Lisa Wilson, Jen Bennett, Alex Peill, Charlottee-Elen Eales, and Stacey Hughes
Scotland - Rachel Kilmartin, Stacey Hughes
France - Chloe Raso
In 2019 Lauren Spark continued her time with the Western Bulldogs by signing a new 2 year contract and Isy Currenti signed with Geelong.
In 2022 Kate Shirelaw was part of the St Kilda ALFW squad and Lauren spark is now Women's development at Essendon Football Club.
International Call ups in 2022:
GB Bulldogs - Myles Hudson and Oli Hobin
GB Swans -Freya McMurray, Charlie Eales, Freya Hibberd, Jayne Meadows
Physio support - Phil Saunders
England DragonSlayers - Myles Hudson and Oli Hobin
England Vixens - Freya Hibberd