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Draftees exceeding expectations, says Stratton

AFLX: Hawks and Tigers battle in practice match The Hawks and Tigers took part in an AFLX practice match on Saturday morning as both sides prepare for next week.

Hawks defender Ben Stratton says the club’s newest crop of draftees have exceeded expectations with their performances during the preseason.

Hawthorn nabbed James Worpel (Pick 45), Dylan Moore (67) and Jackson Ross (71) in November’s National Draft, with Stratton telling RSN on Tuesday that all three had well and truly impressed so far.

“Often [draftees] sort of don’t do a hell of a lot of training and they do a few drills but sort of sit to the sidelines with a lot of things but from what I’ve seen they’ve done most of training and I think we’re pretty excited with those three,” Stratton said.

Returning to defence after missing much of season 2017 with a knee, Stratton indicated 193cm forward Ross would be one for fans to get excited about, while Moore and Worpel had also shown their ability to win the contested ball.

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“I’ve played on ‘Rossy’ a fair bit because he’s obviously a half forward, sort of a Gunston-type, so he’s been pretty impressive how he goes about it,” he said.

“He’s got really good touch with his feet for being a bit of a taller player as well and he’s just got sort of genuine footy smarts.

“The other two are pretty well inside, ‘Worps’ goes bull-at-a-gate has a real crack so exciting for those three and they’re all good lads.”

Moore and Worpel both had a taste of AFLX in the club’s practice match against Richmond on Saturday, while all three draftees appear likely to make an appearance when Hawthorn take on Essendon and St Kilda in the new format on February 16.

Fans can also get a close look at the full squad in action at the club’s intraclub game at Waverley Park on Friday night.

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs