After more than a year of waiting, three-time Hawthorn premiership captain Luke Hodge has finally been locked into play for Learmonth.
The AFL legend will pull on a Lakies jumper for their round 15 Central Highlands Football League clash against Dunnstown.
Club president Stephen Griffin told The Courier a weekend opened up where Hodge was free to make his long awaited Learmonth debut.
He said it was great for the young side to welcome an AFL champion to the line-up and for the club as a whole, with Hodge to host a sportsman's night post-game.
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"The whole young side is very excited given the opportunity to play alongside a great," he said.
"Very exciting, our plans are to (make it) how it was going to be in round one last time, we'll be making a big day of it and capitalising as much as we can."
Hodge was scheduled to play in round one of the 2020 season but COVID-19 put a stop to that.
Learmonth coach Nick Willox said it's great to have him locked-in after a long wait.
"It's going to be huge, for us it's been 18-months in the making, so the guys are pretty pumped and everyone's pretty excited for a big day," he said.
The fixture is headlined by Lachie's Legacy, in honour of Dunnstown footballer Lachie Poulter who tragically died while playing for the Towners against Learmonth in 2018.
Griffin said the club doesn't want to take attention away from Lachie's and the family's day.
"We were quite adamant that we didn't want to distract from their day," he said.
Willox echoed his president's comments.
"We don't want to take anything away from that but hopefully it just adds to the day for Dunnstown as well," he said.
Hodge is good friends with current Lakies player Matthew Jackson, who helped get him to the club.
Where the 346-gamer lines up on the field will be up to him, Willox said.
"I'll probably let him pick where he wants to go ... we'll see what he wants to do," he said.
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