Hawthorn suspends Hodge, Brown - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hawthorn suspends Hodge, Brown

By Sam Lienert 30/06/2005 07:57:12 PM Comments (0)

Coach Alastair Clarkson concedes Hawthorn has cut its chances of beating Geelong on Sunday by suspending Luke Hodge and Campbell Brown, but predicts it will pay off in future AFL seasons.

Star midfielder Hodge and defender Brown were ruled out as punishment for Hodge skipping a training session and Brown breaking a convenience store window, in the wake of celebrations for Hodge's 21st birthday a fortnight ago.

While acknowledging the penalty was harsh, Clarkson said the Hawks made a decision last year to improve values at the club and would not change their tough stance.

"The players know the approach we're going to take with it," Clarkson said.

"We're sending a very, very strong, a very, very harsh, a very, very brutal statement to all of our players and the wider football community that the only way for this club to go forward is to make a strong stance.

"It's not about round 14, 2005 versus Geelong, it's about round 14, 2009, where this footy club's going to be placed.

"In our view ... our position is going to be a lot stronger in 2009 because of the hard decisions we make at the current time."

Clarkson said he was willing to cop the ire of supporters who believed he had sabotaged the team's chances by punishing the pair.

"Don't think it's not tough for the coaching staff, nor our players," he said.

"Would we be better off with Luke Hodge and Campbell Brown in our side come Sunday? No doubt about that."

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