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Hogan ready to launch into 2017

Peter Ryan  February 16, 2017 4:40 PM

A FIT and settled Jesse Hogan is ready to focus on contributing to what Melbourne needs to be successful, according to new coach Simon Goodwin.

The 22-year-old signed a two-year contract extension at the end of last season tying him to the Demons until the end of 2019, ending speculation that he would return to Western Australia at the end of this season. 

He has reportedly lost weight and Goodwin said Hogan was now ready to build on the experience he had gained in his first 41 games. 

"Jess now is a really settled person. He's established here at the footy club. He's got some great work habits and he's really driving his career forward," Goodwin said. 

The key forward carries a weight of responsibility with Sam Weideman still developing after playing three games late last season and Chris Dawes being delisted.

However, the presence of Jack Watts, Christian Petracca, Dean Kent, Jeff Garlett, Jay Kennedy-Harris and Ben Kennedy will give the team plenty of goalkicking options. 

Goodwin said although Hogan remains a work in progress he was ready to put his best foot forward. 

"We'll experiment with Jess in a range of different positions but primarily he is a forward," Goodwin said. 

"He is on our list to play as a key forward and to really be instrumental in our forward half.

"Jesse has been able to put his body shape in a great position to really launchpad his season."

Goodwin said Hogan's contract extension had been positive for the club and removed any potential distraction from the player's mind.

"It gives him some clear air to really focus on what the team needs to be successful," he said.