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South West’s Stratton to skipper AFL club

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Glen QuartermainSouth Western Times
Former Augusta-Margaret River Hawk Ben Stratton after wining the 2014 AFL grand final.
Camera IconFormer Augusta-Margaret River Hawk Ben Stratton after wining the 2014 AFL grand final. Credit: Getty Images

Margaret River product Ben Stratton has been named captain of AFL club Hawthorn.

The triple premiership player replaces Jarryd Roughead, who held the role for the previous two seasons.

The 29-year-old was chosen after a lengthy selection process involving players, the football department, senior administrators and the Hawthorn board.

“It’s an honour and a privilege to captain the Hawthorn Football Club,” Stratton told the club’s website yesterday.

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“Titles are not something that I’ve focused on in my career, but it’s a special feeling to know you’ve been backed in by your teammates and the club.

“We’ve been blessed with so many great leaders over my time at the Hawks and I’ve been able to learn so much from each of them.”

Premiership teammate Jack Gunston will take on the role of vice-captain with Liam Shiels, Isaac Smith, Ben McEvoy and Jaeger O’Meara rounding out the leadership group.

Stratton has played 169 games since being selected by the Hawks with pick 46 in the 2009 AFL national draft.

Educated at MacKillop Catholic College in Busselton, Stratton cut his teeth with Augusta Margaret River Hawks before being recruited to WAFL club East Perth.

He was a key member of the Hawks’ three-peat of premierships from 2013 to 2015, won Hawthorn’s most consistent player in 2013, best clubman trophy in 2015 and was awarded life membership last season.

Hawthorn president Jeff Kennett hailed a “changing of the guard at Hawthorn”.

“We are confident Ben will handle his new responsibilities with great respect and humility, in the tradition of the ‘Family Club’,” Kennett said.

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