Published on September 27, 2018 6:16 pm


From overseeing match day content for Hawthorn to being named best on ground in a premiership winning side for the Hawks, Chantella Perera’s rapid rise in football is quite remarkable.

A four time WNBL championship winner, Perera was accustomed to the professional sports environment and had experienced success in basketball, however football was only new to her.

Looking after match day content at the Hawks, Perera decided to attend tryouts after seeing an ad for a new Box Hill VFL Women’s side.

Two years later, she is not only a Swisse Wellness VFL Women’s premiership winner but also the Lisa Hardeman Medal winner, given to the best on ground in the Grand Final.

“It’s been amazing, an unbelievable journey the last two years,” said Perera on 3WBC’s VFL Rewind.

“I’ve come from a basketball background and played my whole life in a basketball world.

“I crossed over to footy last year and joined the Box Hill Hawks and Patty’s (Patrick Hill) been awesome,” she added.

“He’s taken me under his wing, he obviously sees something in me and he’s been able to help me grow and learn the game.

“He’s helped me improve over the last season, I’m adapting to the game of football because basketballs a very different sport but I transferred the skills I could across to footy and I’m learning every game.”

As the Hawks beat Geelong at Etihad stadium on Sunday, Perera starred in defense, locking down Geelong’s key forwards and racking up 13 disposals, five tackles and four marks.

The Hawks led from start to finish in a relatively close game in which they took a 13 point lead into the final change.

Geelong had struggled offensively kicking just one goal midway through the fourth, Perera however wasn’t ready to claim victory until the very end.

“As a defender I wasn’t really comfortable until about 18 minutes 40 seconds (into the final quarter),” said Perera.

“I think there was a stoppage somewhere and I thought, I think we’re good now.

“Pretty late in the game, they put a lot of pressure on us, we were defending for a fair chunk of the game and it felt like they could kick a goal at any stage so I think I was on my toes until the end.”

Perera is now a tick over 30 years old and is open to the idea of playing AFLW if the opportunity arises.

“I’m open to anything, im pretty relaxed and easy about everything going on,” said Perera.

“I played professional basketball so I kinda crossed over to footy to have a bit of fun.

“I certainly wouldn’t knock down the opportunity but I welcome anything that comes my way, I’m really happy where I am and I love Hawthorn, the club’s been amazing.”

by Mark Koelmeyer



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