Hodge on verge of Hawks' deal extension - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hodge on verge of Hawks' deal extension

17/08/2009 07:29:52 PM Comments (0)

Hawthorn star Luke Hodge looks set to become the latest big name to say no to AFL newcomers Gold Coast, admitting he is on the verge of signing a new deal with the Hawks.

Hodge, one of the biggest fish among the players coming out of contract at season's end, was looming as a Gold Coast target for their 2011 debut.

But the 25-year-old defender said he would "definitely" be at the Hawks next season, and it is unlikely he will sign anything less than a multi-year deal to stay with Hawthorn.

"I'd say so," Hodge said when asked if he was close to signing a new contract.

"My manager's over in Perth at the moment and they're talking regularly and it should be done soon."

Should Hodge resist the Gold Coast's advances, he would join other targets in St Kilda stars Nick Riewoldt, Sam Gilbert and Sam Fisher who have pledged their loyalty to their current club.

While the Coast have signed rugby league defector Karmichael Hunt, they will now have to turn their attention to the likes of Western Bulldog Shaun Higgins or Geelong's Joel Selwood for the ready-made AFL superstar they seek.

Hodge will play his 150th AFL match for Hawthorn against Richmond on Saturday night. But his most pressing concern is keeping the premiers' slim finals hopes alive.

They must win their remaining two matches, and hope Essendon and Port Adelaide both lose theirs to have any hope of making the top eight.

If Hawthorn miss the finals, they would be the first defending premiers to do so since Adelaide in 1999.

Hodge admits his side doesn't deserve to remain in the AFL finals race, but hasn't given up hope of getting there despite Essendon taking the inside running for the last remaining spot.

Hawthorn were beaten by Adelaide on Friday night, their fourth successive defeat.

But Essendon stunned previously unbeaten St Kilda on Sunday to skip a win-and-a-half clear of the Hawks.

Hodge said his side needed to improve their consistency for four quarters to turn around their form.

"With the footy we've put up in the last month, we probably don't deserve to make the finals, but it's still a mathematical chance," Hodge said.

"As long as we can improve our form and win the next two games, anything's possible."

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