Luke Hodge of the Hawks will miss round one through a club-imposed ban.
Luke Hodge of the Hawks will miss round one through a club-imposed ban. JULIAN SMITH

'I let the team down,' admits Hodge

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HAWTHORN star Luke Hodge says he missed training for personal reasons and he'd do it again despite being banned for the Hawks' round one clash against Essendon on Saturday night.

Hodge missed a Monday morning training session after hosting a 21st for his brother at his home but issues arose the following morning that saw him decide he needed to stay home.

The premiership hero was late in informing the club of his absence and was therefore banned for "failing to meet club standards".

The penalty was handed down by the leadership group, which he is a member of, led by new captain Jarryd Roughead.

"My initial response was I thought it was a bit tough but in saying that I've been in their position," Hodge said.

"We've lost two very influential people in our footy club in (Sam) Mitchell and 'Lewey' (Jordan Lewis) and I guess people are waiting for Hawthorn to go down.

"This is a new leadership group who needed to make a stand for any young bloke who's walked into the club and any people who are going to walk into the club in the future, that they're not going to take anything.

"The simple thing of communication, it's such an easy thing to do and I let the team down and the players down in that situation.

"It's a clear stance from Roughy and the leaders of what they're going to take while they're leading the club."

Hodge wouldn't be drawn on the reason why he decided to miss training but it wasn't due to his brother's 21st.

"They were personal enough for me to think I should not go to training and I won't reveal them," Hodge told The Footy Show.

"If I was in that situation again I'd make 100 per cent the same decision but I would inform the club earlier.

"It was actually one of the well-behaved 21sts, we kicked everyone out at 9 o'clock because it was lights out, we cleaned everything up and that was the end of that. There was not alcohol (involved).

"There was a few things that happened the next morning, which I felt I needed to stay at home and attend to, which if I had have informed the club a little bit earlier than what I did it would have been okay."

Hodge will miss the Hawks' season opener against the Bombers at the MCG and but could have avoided the sanction had his communication been better.

"I think that's the biggest part of it, where I've let (the team) down," Hodge said.

"With football clubs ... if your communication is spot on straight away there are no problems. Whereas I was a few hours behind in letting them know what I was doing and that is what my punishment is for."

News Corp Australia


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