A very valuable contributor during an unforgettable era. Highlights would be the 2012 and 2014 preliminary finals where he made huge 4th quarter contributions. At his prime, just a reliable rock in defence.
An excellent career (save for the last two years). Well done.
Thanks for a great career, Stratts - I remember the days of comparisons to Chuck Norris as if it was yesterday.
Did the # 24 jumper proud, so many great highlights but three that stick in my mind - the handball to Buddy for THAT goal against the Pies, many match-saving marks (particularly against the Cats in PF13) and that run-down match-saver of Danger against the Crows.
Ben Stratton was drafted by Hawthorn with the 46th overall pick in the 2009 AFL draft from East Perth in the WAFL (he had played three games in season 2009 for East Perth). A versatile defender, Stratton made his debut for the Hawks in round 3, 2010 against the Western Bulldogs and earned the rising star nomination for his game against the Bulldogs in round 14.
Stratton dislocated his knee early in 2011 and missed most of the season following surgery on his knee, but he returned in time to play the last home and away round against the Suns and Hawthorn's finals series. Stratton gained prominence around the AFL for executing a last-ditch tackle on Adelaide's Patrick Dangerfield in the 2012 preliminary final to preserve Hawthorn's narrow lead and to book a place in the 2012 grand final. Unfortunately for Hawthorn and Stratton, the season ended in heartbreak as the heavily favoured Hawks were upset by the Swans on grand final day. Stratton played every game in 2013 (including his 50th straight match in the 2013 qualifying final win over the Swans). Stratton was part of the defence that held firm in the last quarter of the 2013 preliminary final victory over the Cats, including two strong contested marks deep into the fourth quarter when the Cats were threatening to break loose from defence.
Stratton earned three premierships during his career (2013-2015) and was named captain by the club to replace the retiring Jarryd Roughead for season 2019.
Stratton will retire from Hawthorn at the end of the season after playing his 202nd and final game for the club, with the grand total of one goal kicked (assuming Clarkson doesn't play him at full forward).
Stratton’s mark against Geelong in the 2013 Preliminary Final with 3 minutes left in the game going back with the flight of the ball is my favourite highlight of his career. He was an integral part of that strong back six during the three-peat era playing as a small/medium defender. Thanks for everything you’ve to the Hawks.
Underrated Stratton moment is the end of the 2014 GF. We're up by 10 goals and most players are soaking in the atmosphere and euphoria after every play, any heat from either team well and truly gone from the game. But Stratton still feels the need to go back with the flight of the ball during a play on the wing and gets absolutely smashed. Sums him up. Selfless champion.
Great player and an integral part of our three-peat. Played well on big or small. Had Eddie Betts number every time. Some incredibly memorable moments - that tackle on danger, the repeated marks against geelong in the prelim. Thank you Stratts.
I loved watching Stratts play. I think it's because he came to the club just as I'd moved to Melbourne - I first met him at a Hawks event when he hadn't even played a game and everyone was asking him where Clarko wanted him to play. A key part of some wonderful years.