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Hodge retires after epic AFL final

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14th September, 2019
14

Brisbane veteran and four-time Hawthorn premiership player Luke Hodge has called time on his outstanding 346-game career immediately after Saturday night’s epic three-point semi-final loss to GWS.

Lions coach Chris Fagan announced in his post-game media conference that Hodge had called it quits.

“Hodgey’s finished as a player – I wanted him to come (to the media conference), but that’s not his way,” Fagan said.

“He just wants to walk away quietly.”

Fagan added that Hodge would stay at the Lions, with his role to be determined.

Hodge ended his epic career as one of Brisbane’s best in the pulsating clash at the Gabba and fans cheered him after the final siren.

“He’s hung them up, the old fella,” Fagan said.

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“He’s finished on a high note and he’s been unbelievable for us.

“I sort of knew, but I’d never directly asked him the question.

“So I said ‘is that it?’ and he said ‘yep, that’s it’, so that’s it.”

Hodge was already a four-time Hawthorn premiership player when Fagan lured him to Brisbane after the 2017 season.

Fagan, as a key member of Hawthorn’s football department before becoming Brisbane coach, goes back a long way with Hodge.

The Lions coach paid rich tribute to Hodge’s influence in the young Brisbane team, which shot from 15th up to second before their two losing finals.

“He’s a bit of a rascal, but mostly he’s good – he’s the best leader I’ve seen, one of the toughest players I’ve seen, he’s a warrior, that’s for sure,” Fagan said.

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“He’s a really intelligent player, he sees the game as well as anyone I know – probably Sam Mitchell is his only equal.

“He’s a giver of his time and knowledge … there’s no doubt the development of our team has been accelerated by his presence.

“No, the time has come, he’s one of the all-time greats. More than anything, he’s a good friend.”

© AAP