The 25-year-old played rounds three to five before injuring a calf that required a few weeks of rehab, but his extended run thereafter in the club’s unofficial reserves fixtures drew stints in defence and direction to improve his leading patterns, as well as reported angst from Hogan himself during the trials.
When he finally returned in round 15 he was among his team’s best up forward in each of his four games, which took his total at Fremantle to 19.
That number is significant as it prevents Hogan from reaching the magic mark of 45 in 2021, unless Fremantle goes deep into the 2021 finals and the injury-prone prodigy plays all 22 home-and-away matches.
Trigger clauses are calculated on a pro rata basis for 2020 because of the pandemic-affected campaign and, while the twin scenarios above are unlikely, it does leave the door ajar.
But the Dockers could close it when they hand Hogan a club-imposed sanction for his alleged quarantine breach back home in Perth last Tuesday.
The Dockers only discovered his “disappointing” indiscretion on Tuesday evening and will wait until he emerges from quarantine at the weekend to determine a penalty.
How hard they come down on him will point to their intentions for Hogan beyond 2021, and may trigger their star signing’s own early exit from his contract and request a trade in November’s trade period.
with Daniel Cherny