Hawthorn premiership pair Ben Stratton and Paul Puopolo will play their last games for the Hawks in round 18 after the club announced their retirements at the seasons end, per hawthornfc.com.au.

Stratton, a three-time premiership player, will lead out his side for the last time when the Hawks face Gold Coast at Adelaide oval on Sunday.

Puopolo will join Stratton in hanging up the boots at the conclusion of the 2020 season, playing in his 196th game for the Hawks this weekend.

Coach Alastair Clarkson commended the careers of both Stratton and Puopolo ahead of their final match.

“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.  

“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. 

“I’m thrilled that we will have the opportunity to see them pull on the boots one last time on Sunday and I know their teammates and our members are excited for the chance to farewell them.

“On behalf of the club I would like to thank Stratts and his fiancé Laura, and Poppy and his wife Carmel and daughter Giselle for the sacrifices and contributions they have made to our club. 

“They will always be a part of the Hawthorn family and will forever be welcome at our club.”