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Thoughts of home ruined Hogan’s 2016 season

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 9: Jesse Hogan of the Demons celebrates after scoring a goal during the AFL 2017 JLT Community Series match between the West Coast Eagles and the Melbourne Demons at Domain Stadium on March 9, 2017 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Will Russell/AFL Media)
Melbourne forward Jesse Hogan admits thoughts of returning home to WA affected his 2016 performances.
I was getting a bit down on myself, and you start reading stuff… it gets frustrating.
Melbourne forward Jesse Hogan

MELBOURNE star Jesse Hogan has opened up on the struggles that led him to consider moving home to Western Australia. 

Speaking to Channel Nine on Thursday night, Hogan was adamant the decision on his future took its toll on his 2016 season.

“I was struggling a bit,” Hogan said. 

“It (the idea of moving home) became a bit bigger and a bit more… not realistic but… it became an easier option when it was getting a bit hard.

“I was getting a bit down on myself, and you start reading stuff… it gets frustrating.

“The hardest thing is that initial three to four weeks of playing a bit of bad footy, and then a few things back home.

“All of a sudden it started snowballing, and I showed it on the field; I had a pretty poor end to the year… I couldn’t quite get to the bottom of why that was.

“Now, looking back on it, it was a balance of everything, and probably my head space wasn’t there.”

Asked if he was aware of the poor body language that plagued his 2016 season, Hogan stressed it wasn’t deliberate.

“That was something I was quite oblivious to,” he said.

“I’d get frustrated like most players would, but I guess as a centre half forward it stands out.

“I have quite a presence on the field for my teammates, so when I’m lumbering around with my hands out it stands out.

“I wouldn’t have said I had an issue with it, but it was something I wanted to squash straight away.”

Hogan signed a two-year contract extension at the end of last year, which will keep him at the club until the end of 2019.

The 21-year-old won the 2015 AFL Rising Star award, and has been widely tipped to become one of the modern game’s greatest forwards.