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Witherden: How Hodgey changed the Club

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I remember I had one really poor defensive clip down in Tassie. I received a pretty good bake from our defensive coach, Murray Davis, and Hodgey gave me a bit of a whack as well. It was warranted.

Hodgey followed up after the game and said, ‘Don’t worry about it. What’s done is done. We’ve got to get to a place where we give honest feedback here. That wasn’t up to standard, but don’t think you’re not a good player. This is just where we’ve got to get to as a club.’

It changed my mindset. I wasn’t training to the highest possible standard all the time and it wasn’t good enough anymore. I lifted and challenged others to do the same.

Losing is not something he’s all that used to. The players who have been here a while were more accustomed to defeats because we’d racked up quite a few in recent years, and you could tell Hodgey took the losses harder than everyone else.

He has a better balance these days and so do we. We feel like we’re capable of winning every game now and we’re disappointed when we don’t. The standards we accept within the club are very different to last year. The training and on-field expectations are a lot higher and the feedback is more direct.

Hodgey has brought that to Brisbane.

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The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs