Demons to experiment with Hogan

17 February 2017 06:42:06 EST

Melbourne are looking for another big year from Jesse Hogan as they aim to return to the AFL finals.

Hogan has been the club's leading goalkicker in his first two seasons in the league.

He's got some great work habits and he's really driving his career forward.

Simon Goodwin

He signed a two-year contract extension at the end of last season tying him to the Demons until 2019.

That was great news for new coach Simon Goodwin, who would otherwise have had to deal with continuing speculation over the 22-year-old's future.

Goodwin says Hogan has lost weight over the summer and is now ready to build on the experience he had gained in his first 41 games.

"Jess now is a really settled person. He's established here at the footy club," said the coach.

"He's got some great work habits and he's really driving his career forward."

The youngster managed 44 goals in 20 games in his debut AFL campaign of 2015, and kicked 41 in 21 matches last year.

Hogan still has a lot of responsibility as a key forward but the Demons have the likes of Jack Watts, Christian Petracca, Dean Kent, Jeff Garlett, and Ben Kennedy as other goalkicking options.

Goodwin said the club would experiment with Hogan in a range of different positions, but primarily use him as a forward.

"He is on our list to play as a key forward and to really be instrumental in our forward half," added the coach. "Jesse has been able to put his body shape in a great position to really launchpad his season."

The Demons open their JLT Community Series campaign on Saturday against defending premiers Western Bulldogs at Whitten Oval in Footscray.

Melbourne are 6/5 to beat the Bulldogs, who are 17/25.

The Demons are 91/100 with a 3.5-points start.

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