Hawk great to Gold Coast: 'Big surprise to me'
LUKE Hodge has refuted reports that said he was considering coming out of retirement to play for the Gold Coast Suns in 2018.
SEN radio reported this morning that the four-time premiership player has been approached by Suns chief Mark Evans, who shares a strong relationship with Hodge from his time at the Hawks - and was "seriously considering" playing for the Suns in 2018.
But Hodge said the reports had come as a shock to him.
"When I got in the car this morning I had about 15 text messages going 'what's going on?' And my reply was 'what the hell are you talking about?'" Hodge told the Better on Paper podcast.
"That was a big surprise to me."
Hodge said while he did have a good relationship with Suns boss Evans, he'd last spoken to him after his final AFL game.
"I think the connection there ... is with Mark Evans and as I said to a few people, I saw 'Duggy' after my last game for about two seconds as I was coming down ... which I think they had a picture of today," Hodge said.
"And the previous time was I rang him for my 300th where we were having a bit of a function afterwards and I wanted to know if he wanted to come down because he's obviously been a big part of my footy career.
"So that's the two times that I've seen him in the last eight weeks so that's where I'd ... say it was a bigger shock to me than anyone."
Hodge is widely tipped to enter the media in 2018 and even run the New York Marathon later this year, but a playing/coaching role on the Gold Coast would have seen him come out of retirement just months after calling it quits with Hawthorn.
The left-footer is also completing a book over the next fortnight.
Essendon great Tim Watson had said Hodge would have been able to handle another year of playing, had he joined the Suns.
"Even climatically, it will be a lot better for his body being in a warmer part of the country," Watson said on SEN.
"He (Mark Evans) has been up there and he's been having a look around. He now knows what he needs to do."
On Friday Gold Coast announced their selection panel to appoint their new coach, led by Evans, with Marcus Ashcroft, Neil Craig, Simon Garlick and Matti Clements the other members.
Hodge played 305 games for the Hawks after he was selected with pick one in the 2001 'super draft.'
He announced his retirement in early July.