There's no doubt there is hype surrounding the Brisbane Lions ahead of season 2019.
The youthful Lions showed plenty of promise last year but could only rack up five wins to finish 15th on the ladder.
There is an air of optimism regarding the club ahead of the new campaign, but veteran Hodge is not getting carried away, as potential will only get you so far.
“I’ve been around long enough to know that potential doesn’t get you to the finals,” he said on SEN’s The Captain’s Run.
“You can have as much potential as you want but if you don’t work as a team, play for one another and be disciplined on the field and off the field, then you are going to get nowhere.
“That’s the promising thing about these young guys. At the start of the pre-season they rocked up and they were fit and ready to go. Two weeks prior to the first week of pre-season there were about 15-20 guys training together.
“That shows the attitude that they want to get better from day one. Yes, it’s an emerging group but I think we are starting to get a little bit (of experience).
“We’ve brought in some senior players. We’ve got Lachie Neale coming in, Lincoln McCarthy and Jarryd Lyons as well.
“We are starting to get to that age where we are ready and willing to take the next step. We’ve just got to make sure that on the field when we have our chances, that we take them.
“Last year we lost five games by under a goal and we lost seven games under two goals. We put ourselves in the position, we just need to be mature and calm enough to get those wins.”
The Lions meet Melbourne at Casey Fields in the second week of the JLT Series on Saturday before taking on reigning premiers West Coast in their season opener on March 23.
Hodge says a baptism of fire to kick off the new season can only be a positive for the Lions.
“It’s going to be a great eye opener for the young guys,” he added.
“We’ve got two quality teams straight up. We’ve got Melbourne, then to start the season off against West Coast, it’s going to give us a good understanding on where we are and what we need to do to improve.
“That’s the phase we are at this stage, a lot of learning.”
Today is Brisbane Lions membership day on SEN.
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