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Hodge outlines the types of players he would and wouldn’t sledge


Hawthorn legend Luke Hodge has outlined the type of situation where he would go after a player, be it physically or verbally.

Referring to the taunt made by Luke Parker to Dylan Shiel on Saturday night, Hodge says it’s a tactic that players intentionally use to try and get that edge over the opposition.

Hodge insists he has no problem with Parker’s taunt as the mental and emotional side of the game is equally as important as the physical.

“You say it to people you think you can get under their skin or are going to hesitate,” he said on SEN’s Whateley.

“The people you do it to are the people you think are going to hesitate next time and second guess themselves and then when they’re over the ball next time they’ll fumble because they’re second guessing themselves and are looking up to see what’s going to happen - this is where it is part of those mind games.

“If someone shirked the issue and if someone was selfish in front of goal, of course, you’d go and speak to them especially if you knew they’d be affected by it the next time they go near the football.

“If you do that and they don’t respond as it happened on the weekend, what do you reckon is going to happen the next time you play? You’re going to be mentioning it to him when the ball goes up in the air, you’ll be yelling and letting him know.

“There are certain people out there that you know you can either physically intimidate them, verbally intimidate them or just make them second guess that next play, they’re the ones you go after.

“There are certain people in opposition teams where you thought if I got my opportunity I’d mention it.”

Reflecting on his playing days, the four-time premiership Hawk lists two players he wouldn’t have bothered targeting.

“If you look at someone like Chirs Judd, if I sat back out there on the ground, I wouldn’t bother wasting my time talking to him because I know it’s water off a duck’s back, if he missed a shot at goal he doesn’t care he’ll do the same thing next time,” he added.

“If I was playing against Jonathan Brown and he ducked his head - I’m not going to go to Jonathan Brown and say, ‘You’re soft, you’re weak, you took short steps’, because I know next time he goes to that ball what will happen.”

On the other end of the conversation, was Hodge ever on the receiving end of a taunt?

“I remember as a young kid, we played against Port Adelaide the first couple of years when ‘Clarko’ (Alastair Clarkson) took over the reins and Port Adelaide used to flog us – physically, verbally and that had an impact against a young Hawthorn side for four, five, six years,” he mentioned.

“Even to the stage when it was in 2010, 2011 and 2012 when we had a couple of good times against them, but they were always thereabouts and they upset us a number of times when they shouldn’t have beaten us.

“I think a lot of it’s got to do with because they use to torment us and it would be in the back of their mind.”

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