HAWTHORN has recruited spearhead Sarah Perkins and Greater Western Sydney tall Louise Stephenson to its inaugural list.

Perkins, 28, will become the first four-club player in the AFLW when she returns to her VFLW side in the Hawks.

She was a premiership player in Adelaide's first season – under now-Hawthorn coach Bec Goddard – before being delisted from the Crows at the end of 2019. 

PLAYER MOVEMENT Who's going? Who's staying? All the latest news

Perkins was then an injury top-up player at Melbourne, and as the Dees did not have automatic retention rights, entered the draft where she was snapped up by Gold Coast.

She has kicked 25 goals in 35 games, including six from 10 this year.


Stephenson was an inaugural Giant and is returning to Victoria after 33 games over six seasons.

The 26-year-old stands at 178cm and can play at either end of the ground, with the Giants primarily employing her in defence.

"Lou is a professional in the way she goes about it and will play as our No.1 key defender," Hawthorn list manager Mitch Cashion said.

Louise Stephenson kicks the ball during the round five clash between GWS and St Kilda on February 23, 2022. Picture: Getty Images

"We know she can shut down players but we can also trust her ball use and decision-making.

"Sarah is a proven goalkicker and former All-Australian full-forward.

EXPANSION LIST RULES How the four new clubs can sign players

"She is a fan favourite in the Hawthorn community and will finally get to pull on the jumper of the team she's supported since she was a child.

"We look forward to her reuniting with Bec Goddard, who gave Sarah her chance in the AFLW back in 2016."

Hawthorn's signings/commitments:

  • Janet Baird
  • Zoe Barbakos
  • Dominique Carbone
  • Tegan Cunningham
  • Bridget Deed
  • Jess Duffin
  • Sophie Locke
  • Tilly Lucas-Rodd
  • Akec Makur Chuot
  • Sarah Perkins
  • Eliza Shannon
  • Louise Stephenson