AFL
Michael Ramsey 18d

Lions hope Hodge AFL trade leads to more

AFL

Brisbane coach Chris Fagan hopes the recruitment of Luke Hodge and Charlie Cameron is a sign the tide is turning for the struggling AFL club.

Former Hawthorn captain Hodge's shock decision to backflip on retirement plans and join the Lions was formalised last month when the Hawks traded him for pick No.75.

It was a major coup for Brisbane, helped by Fagan's long-standing relationship with Hodge as former Hawthorn football boss.

Adelaide livewire Cameron's request for a trade to Brisbane was arguably an even bigger win, given it reversed a long-running trend of young players seeking to leave the Lions.

The Crows were reluctant to part with the homesick youngster but eventually agreed to deal him in exchange for pick No.12.

It wasn't all good news for the Lions - free agent Tom Rockliff joined Port Adelaide, while young key forward Josh Schache was granted a trade to the Western Bulldogs.

But Fagan hopes things are looking up for the Lions after four consecutive years of bottom-four finishes including last year's wooden spoon.

"We don't actually sit back there up in Brisbane and think of ourselves as a struggling club," Fagan said on Wednesday in Melbourne.

"We're trying to become a great club, and part of that is attracting great talent to our football club.

"I'm sure (the Hodge trade) will send a message across the competition that Brisbane's a good club to come to and, hopefully, others in time will follow in his way.

"And obviously with Charlie Cameron coming on board - he played in the grand final this year - that's a great boost to our club."

The Lions hope the addition of Hodge and Cameron can help to fast-track the development of gun youngsters Hugh McCluggage, Jarrod Berry and Eric Hipwood.

Hodge said he would lean on former Hawks teammate-turned-Melbourne recruit Jordan Lewis for advice to ensure he wasn't too overbearing with his new teammates.

A four-time premiership winner with Hawthorn, the 33-year-old said he wasn't sure how many games he was likely to play next year.

"I guess we'll have to wait and see. It's a long season," Hodge said.

"One thing 'Fages' has mentioned is that he wants me to go and help the younger guys but, also at times, maybe take a few games off to see how they handle it and who wants to take that next step.

"We'll see how the body is going throughout the season and see what the coaches are thinking as well."

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