Hawthorn skipper Ben Stratton and veteran small forward Paul Puopolo have confirmed they will be retiring at season’s end.
The pair, each with three premierships to their name as part of the Hawks’ three-peat, will play their final games against Gold Coast in round 18.
Stratton will record his 202nd senior game when he meets the Suns on Sunday, while it will be game 196 for Puopolo.
Speaking following the announcement of the retirements on Monday, coach Alastair Clarkson lauded the pair’s impact on the club.
“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.
“Both Stratts and Poppy were drafted to the club as mature age recruits and are fantastic role models for what you can achieve if you have belief and determination.
“As a coach, they are both players you love to have in your side. They never give in and they will put absolutely everything on the line for their teammates and the club. »
One Hawthorn elder statesman who won’t be hanging the boots up just yet is Shaun Burgoyne after the club confirmed a one-year contract extension.
Burgoyne will be 38 by the time this season ends, but the oldest player in the competition will now have the chance to crack the 400-game mark in 2021.
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