Hodge says handover is Mitchell's plan - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hodge says handover is Mitchell's plan

By Melissa Woods 04/10/2010 12:33:34 PM Comments (0)

New Hawthorn skipper Luke Hodge says it was Sam Mitchell's idea to relinquish the captaincy to him for the 2011 AFL season.

Mitchell came under attack this year as the talent-lad Hawks failed to advance beyond week one of the finals after being knocked out by Fremantle.

However, Hodge said Mitchell didn't feel any outside pressure to step down from the captaincy, and the succession plan was his own.

The announcement was made at the club's best and fairest count on Saturday night, where Hodge won the Peter Crimmins Medal.

"Mitch contacted me a week or so ago and said he thought it was about time for him to pass it on, he thought it was the best thing for the club," Hodge told radio station SEN.

"It's a massive honour to captain the Hawks ... I was more than happy to do it when it was offered."

The All-Australian captain and club vice-captain said it didn't come as a surprise, and was something he had coveted since his second year at the Hawks.

"He is a big fan of doing it for two or three years, then trying to develop someone else to go into that role," Hodge said.

"Hopefully in a few years we can develop another person to step up and take the job on.

"He thinks that the more players we have there with leadership potential and leadership experience is going to be better for the playing group."

Hodge said the playing group had been 100 per cent behind Mitchell - who polled third in the best and fairest award - and that he wasn't swayed by outside criticism.

"The boys all voted Mitch in at the start of the year, and we were more than happy with the choice that we made," Hodge said.

"Mitch has been a sensational captain for our club. He's a premiership captain.

"Anyone who knows Mitch would know he wouldn't get too worried about what the outside world is saying. As long as he's got the support from the inside, that's all he needs, and he definitely had that."

He predicted a bright future for the Hawks, with their VFL side Box Hill making the preliminary final and the Box Hill development team chalking up back-to-back titles.

Hodge said the Hawks were still chasing Fremantle backman Chris Tarrant, who has declared his desire to go to Collingwood.

"He has to wait on their decision but we're keen to have a chat with him," Hodge said.

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