Box Hill Hawks coach Zane Littlejohn has been appointed head coach of the Smithy’s VFL representative team.

Littlejohn, who also serves as a development coach for Hawthorn, steered the Hawks to a Smithy’s VFL preliminary final appearance last year in his first season at the helm.

He previously spent six years with the Brisbane Lions where he worked across several roles, including development coach and head coach of the Lions’ Academy.

Littlejohn’s coaching experience also includes a successful stint at North Launceston, who he guided to consecutive TSL premierships in 2014 and 2015.

He will lead a highly experienced Smithy’s VFL coaching panel that includes current-serving coaches Steve Daniel (Southport Sharks), Ben Hudson (Brisbane Lions) and Adam Skrobalak (Port Melbourne).

Littlejohn said it was an honour to be appointed Smithy’s VFL head coach for the league’s first representative game since 2017.

“I’m absolutely rapt to lead the VFL,” Littlejohn said.

“When you think of rep footy you think of the Big V and you think of the Croweaters, so it’s great to have that rivalry back up and going.”

The fierce rivalry between the VFL and SANFL will reignite on Saturday, April 6 when the best players from both competitions face off at Glenelg’s Stratarama Stadium during AFL Gather Round… A Festival of Footy, which will take place in South Australia from April 4-7.

Littlejohn said the representative clash provided a great opportunity for the VFL’s best players to showcase their talent during one of the biggest weeks on the football calendar.

“A lot of our VFL-listed boys work so hard during the day and then have to go to footy training so it’s great reward for them to put their best foot forward against the best from South Australian footy,” Littlejohn said.

“The VFL has provided a great stepping stone for so many people across so many years, as has South Australian footy.

“We hope through this game we see some players put their best foot forward and maybe mid-year they get their opportunity on an AFL list.

“It’s going to be the footy state at that time of the year with Gather Round in SA. I guess if you want to play footy anywhere at that time of the year it’s in SA. It’s going to be really exciting with heaps of people there for footy.

“We’re really lucky for the Big V to be able to run back out there playing rep footy in that week in Adelaide.”

The best VFL-listed players from the 21-team competition will be selected to represent the Big V, with an initial squad and leadership group to be announced shortly.

2024 State League Representative Game
Saturday, April 6, 2024
12:40pm local time / 1:10pm AEDT
Stratarama Stadium, Glenelg, SA