Andrew Gowers has been announced the new Hawthorn president after successfully winning a members vote on Tuesday night to replace outgoing president Jeff Kennett.
The 1991 premiership Hawk was victorious over fellow candidate and Kennett’s president-elect Peter Nankivell to become the 25th president in the club’s history.
Andy Gowers has been elected by the members as the President of Hawthorn Football Club. pic.twitter.com/E20ckH8VQk
— Hawthorn FC (@HawthornFC) December 13, 2022
Despite the push from the former Victorian Premier, Gowers had the support of the ‘Hawks for Change’ group, who wanted to put an end to Kennett’s reign.
The @jeff_kennett era at Hawthorn is over with Andy Gowers set to be elected as president. Chief Football Reporter @TomBrowne7 is live at the Hawks AGM tonight, where the two candidates have ruffled a few feathers. https://t.co/5zYfOfohG3 #7AFL #7NEWS pic.twitter.com/oAg4povNlg
— 7NEWS Melbourne (@7NewsMelbourne) December 13, 2022
Joining Gowers on the club’s board is Katie Hudson, James Merlino and Anne-Marie Pellizzer.
The 140-gamer announced his “three-point plan” to the members once he was appointed the presidency.
“My first point of a three-point plan is unity. I’ve called for a summit and we want to give the opportunity for as many people as possible to attend,” Gowers said on Tuesday.
“I want to get the club back in one piece, the family club united and moving ahead with a common purpose and we do that by being united.
“It will be a new era and I want to bring it back to the family club values, putting members back into the middle of the club and then ultimately success. In that order, unity, family club and success.”
Nankivell – who will no longer be a part of the Hawthorn board – departed the club alongside football director and former player Richie Vandenberg.
Vandenberg was a key driver of Hawthorn’s entire strategy including the decision to replace Alastair Clarkson with Sam Mitchell as head coach.
Hawthorn have now seen their three-most senior board members depart across two days, with Kennett, Nankivell and Vandenberg moving on.
The former vice-president wishes Gowers the best but admitted “there was a far more effective and coordinated campaign run against me.”
“I was asked by the board to put my hand up and take on the job. I didn’t seek it and I am glad the board has faith in me. There were some headwinds in so far as Jeff’s legacy,” Nankivell said, according to the Herald Sun.
“That is the reality. I believe I maintained my dignity at all times.
“Andy will have some challenges with some of the priorities he talked about. He will very much have his hands full working through those.”