Laura Stone handballs during an AFL National Championships match on July 9, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

HAWTHORN has finalised its U18 pre-signings with the addition of Eastern Ranges small utility Hayley McLaughlin. 

McLaughlin is already well known at the Hawks, having been part of the club's VFLW team this year, while also playing 15 games in the Coates Talent League and three games for Vic Metro in the AFLW U18 Championships. 

She is a known ball winner who also works hard to defend, and can play across multiple lines so adds versatility to the Hawks' list. 

Hayley McLaughlin kicks the ball during an AFL National Championships U18 match on August 12, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

The Hawks have also recruited Eastern Ranges star Laura Stone and ruck/key forward Jess Vukic. 

A 170cm quick, versatile option, Stone can move both through the half-back line and midfield, plying her trade across 11 games in the Coates Talent League this year. 

Stone also featured in two games in the AFLW U18 Championships earlier this year, playing for Victoria Metro. 

Vukic averaged 16.5 hitouts across her 11 Coates Talent League games this year, while also featuring in the AFLW U18 Championships for Vic Metro. 

Standing at 179cm, the physical tall will add support to young Hawks ruck Lucy Wales, while also starting to rebuild the side's tall depth after bidding goodbye to both Tamara Luke and Tegan Cunningham in recent weeks. 

The Expansion U18 Talent Pathway Pre-Signing Period runs from November 13th to 17th, and is open for the final four clubs – Essendon, Hawthorn, Port Adelaide, and Sydney – to sign up to three underage players from their academies or academy zones before the December 18 AFLW Draft. 

Hawthorn's zone encompasses Stone's Eastern Ranges and Gippsland Power. Essendon has access to talent from the Calder Cannons. Port Adelaide has its own Next Generation Academy, as well as access to SANFLW clubs Norwood and South Adelaide. 

Meanwhile Sydney's zone is a little more complicated, including inner Sydney, the northern beaches, Illawarra, Central Coast, Hunter, and the northern coast.