The young key defender, who returned from a knee injury, is earmarked for a return to perhaps prevent another James Podsiadly domination up forward – after the JPod kicked six goals in the first half when the two teams last met as Geelong prevailed.
Stratton’s performance yesterday proved that he would be worthy of returning in time for finals to join fellow key defenders Ryan Schoenmakers and Josh Gibson in the back half.
It was likely that the 22-year-old would play another week in the VFL before being in the selection mix for the Hawks’ first final in which they locked away a qualifying final berth against the Cats yesterday.
Hawks development coach Damian Carroll said he was impressed with the way Stratton moved in his first game back since round three. He played almost the whole game due to Box Hill having three injuries.
Hawks ruckman Brent Renouf and Jordan Lisle also impressed.
Xavier Ellis got through unscathed is another knocking of the door for a senior recall.
However, there was no sign that midfielder Clinton Young may return this season as he still continues to recover from a chronic ankle injury.
Carlton defender Michael Jamison had a horror first half with his opponent and former AFL star Brendan Fevola kicked three goals on him on the way to 10 goals for the Casey Scorpions.
Jamison was rested after half time.
However, Blues coach Brett Ratten, in attendance, would have been pleased with the performances of Brock McLean (25 disposals), Kane Lucas (22 disposals) and Jordan Russell (21 disposals) – all whom are vying for a recall against the Saints on Saturday night.
North Melbourne ruckman Hamish McIntosh was also impressive for the Werribee Tigers with 21 touches, eight marks, 23 hit outs and five marks in the 22-point loss to North Ballarat.