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Player Review: Luke Hodge

Player Review: Luke Hodge See highlights from Luke Hodge's first season at the Lions.

Throughout September, lions.com.au will be reviewing the seasons of all members of our current playing group. Today we look at Luke Hodge's first season with the Lions. 

#2 - Luke Hodge

Luke Hodge’s first season as a Brisbane Lion did not disappoint.

The four-time premiership player cancelled his 2017 retirement plans with Hawthorn to join Chris Fagan, his former General Manager of Football, in Brisbane for two years. Hodge’s role was to provide on field leadership and direction for the young Lion cubs. 

Before the start of the 2018 season, Fagan indicated he would be happy if the 34-year-old Hodge could play 15 or so games.

'The General' would go on to play 19 games overall, with his only injury a minor calf complaint. 

 

Throughout the year, Hodge’s presence and experience had a remarkable impact on his teammates, specifically those in the backline.

Harris Andrews, Darcy Gardiner and Alex Witherden all enjoyed career-best seasons, with opposition teams finding it difficult to score inside the Lions’ 50.  

Standout games for Hodge included the Lions' first victory of the season against his former Club in Round 9.

In Round 12 against Essendon he was at his brutal tough best, laying four unforgettable tackles on Bombers players. In Round 16’s win against Carlton he had 25 disposals and turned back the clock with his slinky ball skills.

But where Hodge was truly exceptional was when the going was tough for Lions players. In those games, he stood up.

In Round 4’s blowout loss to Richmond he had 24 disposals and had 26 when the Lions were reduced to one player on the bench in Round 11’s loss to North Melbourne.

In Round 14’s loss to GWS when Andrews suffered a concussion early in the game, Hodge had a season-high of 30 disposals and four tackles.

Hodge’s impact extended further than just on field. In his time at the Hawks, he won four flags, with three of those as captain. In 2018 at the Lions he shared his knowledge and experience by sitting in on the leadership group’s meetings and provided input when needed.

Hodge will go on to play another season for the Lions in 2019.

Coaches Comment - Murray Davis, Backline Coach

"His leadership on and off the field is where he had his biggest impact. Not only did he help players around him grow he also contributed significantly averaging just under 20 disposals in his 19 games and operating at 80% disposal efficiency."

Senior matches: 19

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