The Courier-Mail

Hodge not giving up captaincy easily

- SAM LANDSBERGE­R

HAWTHORN skipper Luke Hodge yesterday said his recent on and off-field blemishes would have no impact on who captains the club next season.

Club coach Alastair Clarkson said Isaac Smith was “more unlikely than likely” to face West Coast in Friday night’s Perth qualifying final.

Smith, 26, strained the medial ligament in his left knee on Saturday but has played all 12 Hawthorn finals games since his debut in 2011.

Hodge is eligible for selection after serving a twomatch ban for rough conduct and was fined $5000 but escaped a further suspension after he was caught drinkdrivi­ng last week.

“I’ll be captain of the football club (in 2016) if it’s the best thing for Hawthorn,” he said.

Hodge has been captain for five seasons and said his sole focus had been on the Domain Stadium finals match since the club’s leadership group, Clarkson and football boss Chris Fagan handed down the fine after Saturday’s Round 23 home win over Carlton at the MCG.

“I can’t wait to train (today), I can’t wait to fly over there and I can’t wait for the siren to start for Friday night,” Hodge said.

“Every time I step on the field for the Hawthorn footy club I give everything I have.

“I can’t give any more than what I’m going to give Friday night and what I’ve given in the past.”

 ??  ?? FINALS RUN: Luke Hodge.
FINALS RUN: Luke Hodge.

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