LUKE Hodge says playing Hawthorn on Sunday will be like competing against a sibling – he'll be doing everything possible to win.
After 305 matches and four premierships for the Hawks, Hodge came out of retirement to sign for Brisbane during the off-season and will face Alastair Clarkson and his former teammates for the first time.
Speaking at a packed press conference alongside Lions coach Chris Fagan on Friday afternoon, Hodge said the butterflies had not yet kicked in.
MATCH PREVIEW Can the Lions get on the board against the Hawks?
"It's been the same as most other weeks, as weird as it sounds," Hodge said.
"One thing people don't realise with an interstate club is you are that focused with what you've got to do on the travel each week that all of a sudden it's mid-May and we're up to round nine.
"I haven't overthought it. It's been the same this week as most others.
"At this stage, it feels the same build-up to a normal game.
"No doubt game day could possibly be a bit different, but we'll have to see how the nerves are then."
Hodge said competing against a coach and players he knew so well would not be difficult.
"Anyone who's got siblings, you love them to death but you compete that hard to try and beat them and it's going to be the same on the weekend," he said.
"All the blokes I've had so many great memories with over the years, and I'll continue to have them in the future, but on Sunday, I'll be trying to do everything I can to help our team get over the top."
Hodge caught up with former Hawks teammates in Melbourne last weekend when the Lions were in town to play the Western Bulldogs, and said there had been some light-hearted banter.
The dual Norm Smith medalist said his mindset would be the same at the Gabba on Sunday as any other match.
"I'd expect the same from Hawthorn. I know their mindset going to every game is a focused one," he said.
"There might be the odd lipping here and there, but their focus is on winning the game and our focus is to get our first win.
"I've been around him (Clarkson) when other people have left the footy club and his mindset is 'different jumper, he's an opponent'."
Fagan went through a similar experience last year when, after nine years at the Hawks, he coached against Clarkson for the first time.
"On reflection it was a bit odd," he said.
"I remember walking on the ground before the game and a lot of these blokes were wandering around and I'd spent the last nine or 10 years with them, and my natural inclination was to go and have a chat to them.
"Then I thought 'I can't actually do that, I'm coaching the other side today'.
"It felt a bit different, but not too much."