Central Highlands club Learmonth is set to welcome three decorated Colac footballers to celebrate the milestone of one of their good mates Matt Jackson.
The small-town club from the Ballarat region is in the media spotlight today after Hawthorn AFL premiership hero and Colac export Luke Hodge announced he would play a standalone game alongside Jackson in his 100th game for the club.
Former Colac Tigers stars Micah Buchanan and Jake Carmody will join Hodge and Jackson for Learmonth’s round one clash against Rokewood-Corindhap.
Buchanan and Carmody last played together in the Tigers’ 2014 grand final triumph.
The four grew up in Colac together, before Hodge went on to forge an accomplished career at the elite level, where he notched up 346 games with Hawthorn and the Brisbane Lions.
Learmonth president Steve Griffin said club officials were always confident of luring Hodge, a four-time Hawks premiership player, to the club after he announced his retirement at the end of the 2019 season following two seasons at Brisbane.
“We’re lucky that we have a connection at our club with him, so that was the catalyst in getting him,” he said.
“Matt had always said he’d been good mates with Luke, so we thought we might’ve had that opportunity when he finished at Hawthorn, but then he went to Brisbane.
“But when he announced he was retiring from Brisbane we went straight back to Brisbane and said now’s the time.
“Matt’s probably one of the most liked blokes at the club, he’s got a good presence at the club and he’s renowned for the hard work he does on the field and he’s a bit of a character as well.”
See tomorrow’s Colac Herald for more.