Luckless AFL star finally catches a break

Key forward Jesse Hogan has signed a one-year contract extension with Greater Western Sydney.

Injury has hampered Hogan’s first season as a Giant, but the 26-year-old said on Monday he was excited to continue working with senior coach Leon Cameron and the GWS playing group.

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“I’ve loved the move to Sydney and the chance to join the Giants despite being on the road in the back half of the season,” he said.

“The club gave me an opportunity and I’m really keen to repay their faith.

“I’m looking forward to next season but first we have a finals series to prepare for and I’m excited to get my first opportunity to play in a final this weekend.”

Hogan could play his 100th AFL game in the second week of the finals — if the Giants make it that far. Picture: Michael KleinSource:News Corp Australia

Giants football manager Jason McCartney said he was pleased the club had acquired Hogan’s services for 2022.

“Jesse’s taken his opportunity this season and settled really nicely into our club,” McCartney said.

“He’s had some interruptions but has shown his impact in his eight games so far.

“We know he can be a strong focal point for us up forward and kick goals, and it was an easy decision to extend him by another year.”

Hogan joins Josh Kelly, Toby Greene and a handful of other Giants in recommitting to the club this season.

It remains to be seen whether former club captain Phil Davis, who is a restricted free agent, will join them in inking a new deal.

A quad injury forced Hogan out of the opening six weeks of the season, but he finally made his club debut against Adelaide in round 7, kicking four goals. The former Docker and Demon had only played two games for the Giants before a calf injury sidelined him for an extended period.

Hogan has missed only one game since returning to the fray in round 17 and is ready to play a key role in the Giants’ finals campaign.

Hogan played 19 games for the Dockers and 71 for the Demons before joining the Giants this season. Picture: Will Russell/AFL Photos/via Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

Hogan’s Giants face local rivals Sydney in an elimination final shootout this Saturday. It will be Hogan’s first taste of September footy.

After missing the finals in 2019, coach Leon Cameron said he was glad his side could shake off its lacklustre start to the season and return to the play-offs.

“It’s our fifth (final series) in our 10th year of history. I’m really proud of the footy club and a new season starts next week,” Cameron said after Saturday night’s game against Carlton.

“It’s enormous to get back to playing finals.

“I think it’s a great sign of the character of the footy club. We’ve been on the road for nine weeks and whether that’s helped or hindered, that’s always interesting and people are going to ask that question.

“The last five weeks, going 4-1 when our season was on the line, was really pleasing.”

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