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New one-year deals for Hawthorn star trio

Dane's departure, Hodge exclusive, SCG hopes Matt Thompson presents Tuesday's Footy Feed

VETERAN Hawthorn trio Luke Hodge, Shaun Burgoyne and Josh Gibson will continue their careers in 2017. 

The premiership stars agreed to one-year contract extensions ahead of a finals series that will see the club aiming for a fourth consecutive flag. 

"It was always something that was going to get done later in the year, and that was either way – retirement or kick on a year," Hodge told

"All the boys were really eager to kick on for another year.

"There hasn't been too much discussion (throughout this season). The club took us out for a feed and just said the situation the club was in.

"We understood that it wasn't going to get done in pre-season like you would if you were 28 or 29. 

"Mitch (Sam Mitchell) with the form he showed early in the year obviously ticked the box a lot earlier and I had a few injuries I had to get over and make sure the body was feeling well.

"A couple of weeks ago, the club said 'Are you guys still keen to go?' … and it was done quite quickly after that." 

Hodge, 32, Burgoyne, 33, and Gibson, 32, have played in a combined 11 flags – with Burgoyne featuring in Port Adelaide's 2004 premiership – and have been teammates at the Hawks in their past three flags. 

After an injury-interrupted season due to a broken arm and knee surgery, Hodge had to convince himself that he could get through another season before signing on. 

"How I've been pulling up from games, it's been really good. I've been able to train without missing many sessions, which has been handy," he said.

"I would've pulled the pin if I felt I couldn't contribute.

"I talk to Clarko (coach Alastair Clarkson) all the time about footy in general, and the feel I was getting from him about what I could do.

"I always had confidence that if mentally and physically I could go on, they (the club) would be more than happy (to sign up again)."

Hawthorn list manager Graham Wright told the Hawks website that re-signing the experienced trio was a simple decision. 

"Luke, Shaun and Josh are all integral to our football club," Wright said.

"Importantly all three individually were very keen to play on and their form warranted it, so it was an easy decision to make.

"Each of them plays an invaluable role for us both on and off the field."

Burgoyne and Gibson have missed just one game between them this season, while Hodge has played 12 games after suffering a broken arm and knee injury at the start of the season.

Hodge needs just 17 games to reach the 300-milestone that Burgoyne and fellow veteran Sam Mitchell, who also agreed to play on in 2017 earlier this season, reached in 2016.  

"It's never really been a major attraction (for me). It probably more sunk in a little bit that I was close when Mitch got it early in the year and so did Shauny," Hodge said. 

"You see the club celebrate because it doesn't happen that often, but it's never been something I'm striving (for).

"I wouldn't play an extra year just to play 300 games."

Hawthorn must beat Collingwood on Sunday to finish in the top four for the sixth season in succession. 

Forecast the road to the flag with the AFL Ladder and Finals Predictor