Hodge eyes happy ending
LUKE Hodge's aim for the 2019 season is to be dropped by the Brisbane Lions.
Not due to his own lack of form, but by being superseded by the next breed of young Lions stars.
Hodge, a four-time premiership Hawk, will enter his second and most likely final year as a Lion in 2019 after being lured out of retirement and playing 19 games last season.
But the 324-game veteran said it was not about matches or kicks, marks and handballs for him.
"To be honest we haven't spoken any further, but it was a two-year deal when we came up here and I think it would have to be something enormous to play any longer," Hodge said while in Kingston on the Lions' pre-season camp.
"Everyone saw last year the emergence of the younger midfield brigade but also the half-backers.
"There is a lot of talent, a lot of enthusiasm and a lot of youth that are ready to kick onto AFL standard.
"My job is to help guide them as much as I can and I'm hoping they will pass me by by the end of the year and I won't get a game."
Post this season remains unknown.
He is testing the coaching waters by mentoring the young Lions but will not make a decision on his future with Brisbane until later in the season.
"Because of family reasons, having three young kids, I didn't want to commit to two (seasons) playing-two coaching if the kids or my wife didn't like it," the 34-year-old said.
"I don't think it will be fair on them, they've had to sacrifice a fair bit during my footy career.
"We've been really lucky that my wife and kids absolutely love it.
"Once we get to the end of the year no doubt I will talk to the Lions about something moving on but at this stage we haven't really discussed anything."
Hodge said he dislikes comparisons between the young hungry Hawks he was apart of that went onto dominate the competition and the Lions side, but he could see some similarities, especially after each went through successful eras before hitting rock bottom and having to start again.
"I can sort of see similarities in that the Lions had bottomed out and now you've got this good young core group who rather than take the option of going home they have all signed on and extended their contracts and they really want to drive the Brisbane Lions back up to the top of the ladder," he said.
"Every young fella who is out of contract has had an offer to go home or to another club over the last two years, but they have signed on which is a great sign of the stability of the footy club off field and where the young group believe they can really take this club."