AFL games: 21
Total goals: 47
Marks per game: 3.7
Score involvements per game: 5.1
Ever-reliable and consistent, Breust went past 500 career goals in 2023 and was once again his side’s most damaging player up forward. The 32-year-old's impressive tally of 47 goals saw him finish as Hawthorn's leading goalkicker in 2023 - marking the fifth time he has done so in his career. Appointed co vice-captain alongside Dylan Moore ahead of the season, Breust is the oldest and most experienced head on the list. He still appears to have plenty left in the tank as he looks to go past 300 games next year.
Best AFL game:
Breust was at his dangerous best against St Kilda in Round 20 with a six-goal haul. Breust put on a classy performance in the third quarter where he kicked three goals, before going on to finish with an equal career-high dozen majors. The veteran Hawk also finished with an equal career-high six marks in the forward 50.
How the coaches saw him:
“Punky played 21 out of 23 games this year and his season was rewarded with a selection in the All Australian squad. He’s ultra-consistent in front of goal, averaging 2.2 goals a game which is second only to fellow small forwards Charlie Cameron and Toby Greene. He has got a high work ethic and he really put a focus on honing his craft this year. The thing about Punky is he is always constantly trying to get better. He is one of the best, if not the best crumbing small forward in the competition, and puts in a lot of work to that. Not only that, but a lot of our other small forwards have joined in with him in trying to improve their craft too, which is a credit to Punky with the leadership he has shown. He had a really good year and hopefully he can build on that next year as well.” – Chris Newman