Hawks duo announce retirement

14 September 2020 15:50:26 GMTPlus10

Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson has paid tribute to Ben Stratton and Paul Puopolo after it was announced they will retire at the end of the season.

The duo joined the Hawks as mature age recruits in 2009 and 2010 and will retire as one-club players with three premiership medals each following a hugely successful spell in Hawthorn’s history.

Stratton also took over the captaincy from Jarryd Roughhead in 2019 and will lead the Hawks out for one final time against Gold Coast on Sunday before hanging up his boots.

It will also be the last appearance for Puopolo and Clarkson has hailed the outstanding contribution that both players have made. 

"Stratts and Poppy are exceptional examples of Hawthorn people, each with an incredible work ethic and each highly respected among our playing group and within our club," said Clarkson.

"Stratts is the sort of guy you want beside you when you go into battle. He is relentless, selfless and will never stop competing. 

"He never fails to take a teammates-first approach and it is these qualities that make him so highly valued amongst his peers and also the broader footy world. 

"Poppy is an incredibly resilient player and person. He came to us as a defender and leaves the game a master of the pressure forward role. 

"For most of his career, Poppy was always the first name selected in the side each week because you could never doubt the intensity, energy and pressure he would bring to the game. 

“Poppy is an amazing example of how far hard work and perseverance can take you in your career."

The news comes after it was confirmed Shaun Burgoyne will play on in 2021 as the 37-year-old looks to reach 400 career appearances.

The Hawks are priced at 1/1 to beat the Gold Coast, who are 17/20.

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