Harry’s a Hawk

Benalla Ensign - - Sport - By Fraser Walker-Pearce

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.

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