By Lance Jenkinson
Glen Orden has been to hell and back over the past three years in the Western Region Football League division 3.
The Hawks are now one step away from completing an unimaginable comeback from ruins to supremacy.
When Phil Crea took charge of the Hawks at the start of the 2018 season, he did so in the knowledge that he would be undertaking a task of giant proportions.
Crea effectively took over the team from ground zero after the Hawks had been forced to sit out the 2017 season after a mass player exodus in the pre-season.
It was for the sheer love of the club why Crea took on the task.
Glen Orden’s biggest win in 2018 was simply running out for their first game.
The Hawks lost by 27 points to Point Cook Centrals on that landmark day, but the final score was almost irrelevant.
Some said the Hawks would struggle to win a game in their first season back, but they won three.
It took the Hawks 10 weeks to get the first chance to sing the song for the first time back, but their 11-point win over North Sunshine was well worth the wait.
A week later, they had back-to-back wins, defeating Laverton on home soil, in front of the committee members and supporters who fought so hard to get the club back up and running.
The 2019 pre-season arrived and everyone was expecting improvement from Glen Orden after their respect-earning year of 2018, but no one was brave enough to say the Hawks would be a finals contender, let alone a premiership contender.
One man believed – Crea.
With some handy new recruits and the natural progression of the youngsters that he is so proud of, Crea did not hope for a finals appearance for the Hawks, he expected one.
Glen Orden delivered in the home-and-away rounds, finishing third with a 13-5 record.
The Hawks spent some time at the top of the ladder and emerged as a genuine premiership threat. Their finals campaign has been super impressive. The Hawks kick-started September with a 41-point win over local rivals Tarneit in a cut-throat semi-final.
With a grand final spot on the line, Glen Orden fired up the blowtorch on Sunshine Heights with a thumping 62-point win in the preliminary final at Pennell Reserve on Sunday.
Dillon Hinge booted seven goals for the Hawks – the same total of goals the whole Sunshine Heights team managed on the day.
Daniel Rosenzweig kicked three goals in a best-on-ground display. Glen Orden is over the rough patch it had towards the end of the home-and-away campaign and is peaking at the right time of the season.
In this kind of form, you would not rule out the Hawks from completing their fairytale story with a premiership when they meet Albanvale in the division 3 grand final at the VU Whitten Oval on Saturday.
In division 1, Werribee Districts had a heartbreaking end to its season. The Tigers went down by four points to Spotswood in the first semi-final at Avalon Airport Oval on Sunday.
In senior women’s, Manor Lakes’ premiership defence is over after it went down to Caroline Springs by three points at Pennell Reserve.
The Storm led at half-time by 24 points, but was overrun in the second half by the fast-finishing Lakers.