Kristy Stratton made quite the impression in her first year as a Hawk. 

Even though she hadn't played AFLW since 2021, it seemed like the 29-year-old hadn't missed a beat in 2023. 

The midfielder/ forward suited up for every game last year often with an array of strapping on her body, highlighting her willingness to put her body on the line and play through adversity for her teammates.

At times during the season, Stratton was the most important player on the ground for the Hawks, leading the way with her trademark aggression.

On the stat sheet, she was able to record double-digit disposals in five of her 10 appearances as well as double-digit tackles on three occasions. 

Key stats:

Disposals per game: 10.3 (career-high)

Tackles per game: 7 (career-high)

Marks per game: 2 (career-high)

Total goals: 5 (career-high) 

Key achievements:

  • Received four coaches votes for her performance against Sydney in Round 7 
  • Nominated for AFLW Goal of the Year for her major against Geelong in Round 10 
  • Finished seventh in Hawthorn's best and fairest 

Best game:

Round 7 v Sydney 

It is hard to look past this performance when thinking about Stratton's best work in 2023.

This performance was the definition of a breakout game, as the 29-year-old was able to break out individually and display her outstanding determination but also break the game open for her team to get their second win of the season.

After kicking an important goal in the first quarter of the game, it was the third term where Stratton gave the Swans a headache.

In that quarter, she would get out the back for her second major of the day before putting her body on the line to assist an crucial goal from Sophie Locke.

Defensively, Stratton applied immense pressure, highlighted by a game-changing tackle on dangerous Sydney co-captain Chloe Molloy.

The midfielder/ forward would finish the game with two majors and a goal assist from her seven disposals, backing it up with five score involvements and three tackles.

Stratton also played a career-best game against St Kilda in the prior round, according to the statistics.

In that game, she recorded career-highs in disposals (18), marks (5) and a season-high in clearances (3).