Three-time premiership player Ben Stratton will lead a new look leadership group at the Hawks in 2019.
Stratton was officially appointed Hawthorn captain this morning after being endorsed by his peers, coaches and key leaders of the club.
The 29-year-old defender will be supported by premiership teammate Jack Gunston, who will take on the role of vice-captain.
Rounding out the leadership group are Liam Shiels, Isaac Smith, Ben McEvoy and Jaeger O’Meara.
McEvoy and O’Meara will both join the group for the first time, while Shiels and Smith have been members of the group since 2017.
Although humbled by his new title, Stratton said he is excited by the opportunity.
“It’s an honour and a privilege to captain the Hawthorn Football Club,” said Stratton.
“Titles are not something that I’ve focused on in my career, but it’s a special feeling to know you’ve been backed in by your teammates and the club.
“We’ve been blessed with so many great leaders over my time at the Hawks and I’ve been able to learn so much from each of them.
“I’m lucky to have a really experienced leadership group around me and I’m excited to get stuck into season 2019 and see what we can achieve.”
Stratton was selected by the Hawks with pick 46 in the 2009 AFL Draft and has since played 169 games, including the club’s three-peat between 2013 and 2015.
He has been a pillar of consistency, named Hawthorn’s Most Consistent Player in 2013, and is well respected among his peers, exemplified by his Best Clubman trophy from 2015.
Awarded life membership of the club in 2018, Stratton has become a general of the Hawthorn backline, known for his courage, commitment and on-field leadership.