The emergence of Jesse Hogan’s spearhead revival after a few difficult seasons is over, with a new two-year deal the reward for his best campaign since 2018.
The Giants star striker scored a season-high four goals last week in a performance on the ground as they put behind them a disastrous derby loss to Swans to defeat Essendon in Sydney.
Hogan has as many as 30 goals in 16 games this season, and 50 in 25 in total since moving to Greater Western Sydney on a one-year contract after a somewhat tumultuous end at Fremantle.
Another season-long pact, proving it to us, followed his freshman year with the Giants, but now the ex-Demons wonderkid has safety again amid what he describes as “the most coherent” of his life.
As pleasing to the 27-year-old as his goalscoring tally is the number of games he has played this season, having managed just 12 in the past three years when foot and soft tissue setbacks besieged him.
Former coach Leon Cameron and the Giants high-performance team hatched a pre-season plan for Hogan to rest twice this year on either side of the mid-season break, which has worked wonders for him. .
“Last year wasn’t ideal with injuries and a few calf injuries to deal with, and I’m not too confident in my body,” Hogan told News Corp.
“Then this year to be able to string together 14, 15, 16 games and play more consistent football has been huge for me mentally, just to have confidence in my body again and have a decent season overall.”
Hogan’s agent Matt Bain of TLA Australia is thrilled to see him playing well again and optimistic about bigger things to come.
“It’s a great result for Jesse. He’s happy there and deserves the two years,” Bain said.
“He worked a lot and it shows in his foot. I’m very proud of him.
No key forward in the competition has averaged more than Hogan’s seven points per game this season, with that part of his game still serving as a barometer for his performance.
“It’s not that I’m looking for marks or kicks, but it’s something that has always kept me in the game – my ability to find a pocket of space,” he said. .
“I’m not the most athletic, I’m not the fastest and I’m not the fittest, but I think I have a pretty high IQ when it comes to front gear.”
The next step for Hogan is to play a full year, which he believes is within reach if he can enjoy a big summer and enter the 2023 season injury-free.
Part of that goal is also to step up his training between games, having largely stayed on his legs until Wednesday or Thursday after a game and completing just one main session a week this year.
“I would get everything I needed from that session to feel good, and then not much after that,” he said.
“But with the confidence I have in my body for next season; I feel like I can train more, keep working on my craft during the week and be more confident going into games.
Hogan, who moved from Shane Mumford’s grandmother Maroubra’s flat to a Balmain house, was among eight players spared the wrath of interim manager Mark McVeigh following the disappointment against the Swans.
The Giants’ disappointing season has frustrated Hogan at times and he’s recently insisted players need to be better defensively, but he’s come a long way personally.
Hogan has conceded on several occasions since leaving Dockers that he has made mistakes, but also that it is absolutely necessary to escape the constant hunt in Perth for a somewhat anonymous existence in Sydney.
“Hindsight is a wonderful thing. It’s kind of hard to think about it – I have a lot of regrets and you can’t change the past, so I just tried my best to move on,” did he declare.
“It’s been a bit littered years, unfortunately, and that’s something I’m going to have to live with, but this year and last year I’ve taken steps forward.
“Hopefully I’m just reaching the peak of my career and can end my year very well and play good seasons and have deep endgames.”