A mature age draftee hailing from Norwood in the SANFL, the strong defender joined Hawthorn as pick 66 in the 2010 NAB AFL Draft. After beginning as a small back, Puopolo has developed into a defensive-style forward and become a fixture in the Hawks’ side. He kicked 24 goals in 2012 and was part of the club’s Grand Final side. Paul had a fantastic year in 2013 and was a key contributor in the Hawks Premiership Team. Season 2014 saw Puopolo have a career best year with 22 goals, playing every game including the Grand Final and finishing ninth in the club’s Best and Fairest.
In 2015 he was another member of the Hawthorn list to play in his third consecutive premiership. In that year he averaged 13.3 disposals whilst kicking 29 goals. He was constantly praised for his intensity around the ball and his defensive pressure as a forward. 2016 saw further games for Puopolo as he played 22 games and kicked a career high of 34 goals.
2017 started off very well for Paul, however he missed the majority of the end 2 months of the season with a groin injury. Despite only playing 15 games, the small-forward did manage to score 19 goals for the year. Puopolo will now look towards the 2018 season where he will hope to resume his crucial role up forward.