Hodge embraces AFL change of pace at Lions

Nov 20, 2017 - 2:12 AM Luke Hodge can already tell just how different playing for the Brisbane Lions is going to be compared to life in AFL-mad Victoria.

The 33-year-old admitted he had butterflies in his stomach driving to his first pre-season training session on Monday.

It represents a dramatic change of pace for Hawthorn great, who shelved retirement plans to sign a two-year deal with Brisbane.

The AFL bubble is inescapable in Melbourne but in Queensland, where rugby league takes precedence and the struggling Lions often battle for publicity, Hodge will enjoy near-anonymity.

"When I was up here last time, it took me about six pages before I found AFL (in the newspaper) so that might be a little bit different," Hodge told reporters on Monday.

"I grew up since the age of four or five loving footy and I'm no different now.

"I'm a footy head. So I'll probably watch as much footy as I can.

"But it's a positive as well, you can also go and train hard but also get that release whereas in Melbourne, you don't."

Brisbane's other major recruit, Charlie Cameron, was also looking forward to the "escape" after struggling with the glare of the spotlight with the Adelaide Crows.

"Adelaide is just footy, footy, footy," Cameron said.

"Coming back here, there's no footy, no talk, anything.

"You can get away, enjoy yourself, so you don't have to think about footy too much. If you do, it plays with your head."

Hodge is aiming to play about 16 games for the Lions next year but said his body will ultimately dictate his output.

He spent 16 seasons with Hawthorn, playing in four premierships and captaining the team in three of them.

The move to Brisbane reunites him with Chris Fagan, who had been a key figure on the Hawks' coaching staff for most of his time at the club.

"There was butterflies coming here, just because it's something different," Hodge said.

"But footy clubs are the same. As long as you get around most of the guys, have a bit of a chat, you fit in pretty easily.

"The first thing (I noticed) as we walked out the track (was) how energetic the young guys are.

"Where I've come from has been an older group. Sometimes you need the young guys to push the vibe of the place.

"The excitement of the young guys -- as an older fella -- is exactly what we need."

Source: AAP

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