The fallout from Hawthorn’s bitter president battle has already started with football director Richard Vandenberg quitting the board.
It comes just hours after the Hawthorn AGM on Tuesday night where former premiership player Andy Gowers won the race to succeed Jeff Kennett as president.
Vandenberg was a well-known backer of Kennett, who suffered a stunning defeat with his preferred candidate Peter Nankervill failing to win the members’ vote.
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Vandenberg, a former captain of the club, was also a major chance to become Hawthorn president if Nankervill succeeded.
During the at times fiery campaign, Nankervill indicated if he won, the prominent lawyer would only stay for one term (three years).
He also announced that Vandenberg would assume the vice-presidency.
Gowers and Nankervill were both essentially aligned on the Hawks football program, in particular supporting Sam Mitchell’s patient rebuild.
But Vandenberg’s resignation means Hawthorn will need to find a new football director.
The issue is mitigated by the fact Gowers has expertise in football.
Gowers was the Hawthorn football director in two premiership years, 2014 and 2015. He announced a summit after the AGM, in an effort to unify factions, with Kennett’s handover splitting the club in recent months.
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