Harry’s a Hawk
Benalla Saints and Murray Bushrangers footy product Harry Morrison finally got his chance in the spotlight — in Luke Hodge’s retiring match.
Morrison, 19, made his debut for Hawthorn in its final match of the normal season against the Western Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium on Friday night.
The Hawks held on to win the match 15.9 (99) to 13.12 (90), with Jarryd Roughead booting five goals, finishing the Hawks’ season in 12th.
Starting on the bench for the Hawks, Morrison came on to great effect, in front of nearly 50 000 onlookers.
Morrison told Hawthorn.com.au he was ecstatic when he was told he would be a part of AFL legend Luke Hodge’s final game in the brown and gold.
‘‘Obviously it was pretty exciting,’’ Morrison said.
‘‘I found out (Thursday) morning that I was in the squad.
‘‘I got told I was in the squad when ‘Clarko’ (Hawks head coach Alistair Clarkson) and ‘Hodgey’ (Luke Hodge) came up to me and said that as Hodgey will be playing his last game, I’ll be playing my first — very exciting.’’
Morrison told The Ensign earlier in the year that Hodge had been teaching him the ropes of professional football throughout the year, and that he looked up to him as a footballing idol.
Morrison said the first thing he did when he found out was tell his family and close friends.
‘‘It was very exciting telling them, and they were stoked for me . . . just got the family and hopefully a couple friends coming up to see it,’’ he said.
‘‘I made probably three or four squads throughout the year and was playing all right footy, I just had to string a few more good games together, and I finally got my chance in round 23.’’
In the first quarter, Morrison booted a deep, searching ball inside 50 in the direction of Hawthorn great Jarryd Roughead, who marked in front of goal.
Also in the first, Morrison came within metres of recording his first ever goal in AFL footy, instead missing to the right for a behind.
Along with those involvements, he smothered multiple Bulldogs kicks, and racked up 21 possessions throughout the match.
Hawthorn did not respond to The Ensign’s request for an interview with Morrison before deadline.
I got told I was in the squad when ‘Clarko’ (Hawks head coach Alistair Clarkson) and ‘Hodgey’ (Luke Hodge) came up to me and said that as Hodgey will be playing his last game, I’ll be playing my first — very exciting.