Being back with family and friends in the west is where Jesse Hogan needs to be in 2019.Happiness off the field and being closer to family and friends means more to Jesse Hogan right now than potential finals success which is why he was keen to leave Melbourne for Fremantle.
Being away from his family in Perth while his father passed away, and as he battled testicular cancer, the 23-year-old key forward realised that there was more important things in life than success on the football field.
Hogan has nothing but positive thoughts on how Melbourne treated him over his 71-game, 152-goal career at the club, but the pull to return home proved too strong.
“Melbourne were extremely supportive and it’s not too often you have two incidents like that happen so close together and I couldn’t have asked for any more from their side of it,” Hogan said.
“But not being able to get back to Perth and having that pressure to perform week in, week out and having other things on my mind probably started to impact my performance and general well-being to the point I ventured into what might be best for me on and off the field.”
Hogan is fully aware of what he might be leaving behind at Melbourne after their preliminary final appearance in 2018.
“To come from the bottom and see the list now and how close they potentially are to winning a flag, that was a serious factor going into this,” he said.
“But I sat down with Simon Goodwin at the end of the year and had a really good chat about where I was at mentally and as a footballer.
“Obviously I do want to play in finals and flags, but at this stage it was more important to get back around my family and friends, and have a fresh start.”
While Hogan had flirted with a return to Perth previously and even met with Fremantle coach Ross Lyon and captain Nat Fyfe during the 2017 trade period, he never seriously thought a move was possible until this year.
“I caught up with Nat and Ross last year in the case of a random trade and the way they were talking with a bit of a five-year plan, it kind of aligned with where I was at,” Hogan said.
“Then this year we had further conversations about it with a bit more depth and they aligned with where I was at. I agreed with what Nat and Ross were saying so the natural pull to Freo was on the back of those conversations.”