RUGBY LEAGUE: Ex-North Queensland prop Dane Hogan is intent on recapturing his best form at the Sunshine Coast Falcons, following a stalled season as captain of Easts Tigers.
The 27-year-old Bribie Island product signed with the Bokarina-based unit in late September after four years at Langlands Park.
And he's relishing the prospect of a proper pre-season at the Falcons after a foot fracture cruelled his preparation to 2016.
"I want to get back to playing my best football,” he said.
"This year, coming off the back of a pretty bad injury, wasn't my best on the field so I'm looking to rip into the new pre-season.”
He wasn't with the squad when it was put through a gruelling session at Wild Horse Mountain on Saturday because he got married in Bali last week.
But he'll start work with the squad this month before relocating from Brisbane to Sippy Downs with wife Kathryn in December.
Hogan forged his skills as a junior at the Warrigals and at Kawana before moving to Sydney and the St George set-up.
He shifted to Townsville and the Cowboys, making 10 NRL appearances in 2010.
Hogan spent another two years there stuck behind the likes of Gavin Cooper, Dallas Johnson and Jason Taumalolo before linking with Easts, where he became a prevalent force.
Now, he's eager to play a major role at the Falcons.
"I still love the game...the fire is still definitely there and I think this is a good opportunity to freshen up,” he said.
The Falcons put aside seasons of woe to become a threat in 2016, earning a preliminary final berth under coach Craig Ingebrigtsen, who Hogan has worked under previously at Easts.
"I've got a good relationship with Trigger and I've seen what he's done with the team up here over the last 12 months and I think it's heading in the right direction so I'm pretty keen to jump on board,” he said.
"Being a bit older I hope to take on a bit of a leadership role as well and help some of the younger boys coming through.”
The Falcons and Easts are affiliated with Melbourne Storm and while Hogan wouldn't say no to another NRL call-up if it came, it's not his priority.
THE refrigeration mechanic wants to play his part for the Sunshine Coast.
"It looks like a really strong team. The guys who were based up here this year went really well and by the looks of it the club has recruited well again so I think the Falcons are only going to go better so I'm happy to add what I can to the team.”
He said the stifling session on Saturday - which included lugging tyres up the slope - was an indication of how seriously the club was treating the new campaign.
"The Falcons have turned into a really professional outfit,” he said.
The 185cm, 99kg enforcer is among a handful of Easts players to have linked with the Falcons in the past year.
Troy Giess (now captain), Eddie Tautali came across with Ingebrigtsen initially.
Hogan, Whetu Austin and highly-rated half Guy Hamilton and were signed more recently.
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