Hodge looking to life beyond AFL
He's not yet ready to confirm this will be his last AFL season, but the signs are pointing that way for Hawthorn's Luke Hodge.
The 32-year-old handed over the captaincy of the Hawks after a six-year stint that included four Grand Finals and three premierships.
If it is my last year (of playing), I can work with the guys on what to say and what I need to improve on.Luke Hodge
The decision has had a positive effect on him as he builds up to his 17th season in the AFL.
It's unlikely he will make a call on whether it will be his final campaign until it's over, but he's begun the transition towards his post-playing days.
Coach Alastair Clarkson has given him the go-ahead to devote more time to his business activities - he owns a finance business with former teammate Daniel Elstone - and he will be doing a fair amount of media work this year.
"'Clarko' is big on blokes developing outside footy so that when they leave the game there's not this massive shock to their system," said Hodge. "He's already given me some half days to go to business meetings and license to ramp up my media work."
Hodge, who has played 284 games for the Hawks, added: "If it is my last year (of playing), I can work with the guys on what to say and what I need to improve on. That's something I want to do for a very long time and the club is very supportive."
Hodge said when he decided to hand over the captaincy and Jarryd Roughead was appointed as his successor, it felt right that he would have one final AFL campaign where he tried to help the new skipper out.
"But then with the lack of responsibility of the captaincy, not being the 'Grinch' and telling people what to do all the time, it's taken the stress out of it," he added. "I've had a lot of people telling me I'm more enjoyable this season and my wife said it's like having a different person at home."
Hawthorn are 12/1 to win the Grand Final.
The Hawks are 8/15 to finish in the top eight.
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