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Stratton to skipper Hawks

February 28, 2019 1:25 pm in by

HAWTHORN has named triple AFL premiership defender Ben Stratton as their new captain with Jack Gunston to serve as his deputy.

Stratton was endorsed by his teammates and coaches in an open vote to replace Jarryd Roughead, getting the nod ahead of fellow contenders Isaac Smith and Liam Shiels.

Smith and Shiels, who served as vice-captains under Roughead, will both serve in the Hawks’ leadership group along with new additions Ben McEvoy and Jaeger O’Meara.

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Stratton has played 169 games for the Hawks and was part of their premiership triumphs in 2013-15.

The 29-year-old missed most of the 2017 campaign with a knee injury but played a key role in helping the Hawks return to the finals last season.

“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,” he said.

“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.

“I’m lucky to have a really experienced leadership group around me and I’m excited to get stuck into season 2019 and see what we can achieve.”

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Roughead stepped down as the Hawks’ captain last November after two years in the role and will not serve in the leadership group this season.

The key forward, who missed the 2016 season as he battled skin cancer, struggled to find form last year.

© AAP 2019

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