FRANKSTON Pines captain CJ Hodgson won’t play this season due to post-concussion syndrome.
Hodgson was substituted in a friendly against Mazenod early last month after a head clash.
The 28-year-old has suffered multiple concussions throughout his career which now hangs in the balance as there is uncertainty over whether he can return.
“I knew something wasn’t right straight away as my eye was going weird and there was blurriness so I had to come off,” Hodgson said.
When a teammate phoned later that night it was clear that all was not well.
“I was lying in bed when Marinos (Panayi) rang and I couldn’t put any words together because I was slurring my words so much.”
Hodgson was off work for a week and “pretty much slept for most of the time”.
An MRI was arranged and when he discussed the results with his GP she was blunt.
“She told me that I had to take a year off for a start,” he said.
“I don’t think it’s really hit me yet but I guess that will happen when the season starts and I can’t walk out and play.”
This was to be Hodgson’s testimonial year and he was set to make his 250th appearance for Pines.
He was forced to watch from the sidelines last Friday night instead of leading the side onto the synthetic pitch at Carrum Downs Recreation Reserve for its Australia Cup tie against Lara United.
“I handed over the armband to Ryan (Ratcliffe) before the game and I told Christian (Malgioglio) he can have my number 14 shirt but they might retire it.
“I have to see a concussion specialist as I’ve got short-term memory loss as well and I’ve got another MRI coming up so hopefully that doesn’t show up anything.
“It’s not good but it is what it is and I’ve got to look after my health now.”
And with Hodgson looking on Pines smashed Lara United 6-0.
The home side led 1-0 at half-time courtesy of a Dave Change own goal in the 13th minute.
Two goals in the opening minutes of the second half effectively ended this tie, the first from a superbly struck first-time strike by Joe O’Connor following a clever Malgioglio corner and the provider turned scorer a couple of minutes later sneaking in at the far post for a simple finish.
Liam Baxter made it 4-0 in the 68th minute after Thomas Dunn was sent clear on the right.
Dunn’s cross was spilled by Lara keeper Jayden Bellears-Price and Baxter tapped it in.
It was 5-0 after substitute Dylan Waugh finished off a Marinos Panayi cutback from the right in the 85th minute and an Aaran Currie header at the back post in the 91st minute completed the rout.
Pines are one of just three local clubs remaining in the Cup along with Mornington and Langwarrin as Skye United and Peninsula Strikers went down to State 1 opponents.
Mornington joined Pines after a 6-0 stroll against Uni Hill Eagles on Saturday while NPL2 outfit Langwarrin enters the draw for the next round with games played midweek.
Taylan Geylan gave Mornington the lead after just two minutes and further first half goals from Rhys Craigie and a second from Geylan had the home side in cruise control at the break.
Craigie, Josh Hine and Tom Wood scored in the second half.
This Saturday Mornington will play Caroline Springs George Cross at Dallas Brooks Park (seniors 11am, reserves 1pm).
Skye lost 4-0 to Banyule City at Lawton Park while a Huss Chemini volley couldn’t stop Strikers losing 3-1 at Centenary Park to Eltham Redbacks.
This Thursday Skye is back at Lawton Park to take on Langy’s under-21s at 7.15pm while Strikers are at home again on Saturday against Caroline Springs George Cross (1pm and 3pm).
Skye is hoping to sign ex-Strikers and Berwick City player Oscar Marsden.
Meanwhile Langwarrin lost 2-0 to Melbourne City in a pre-season hitout at Lawton Park last week and no senior friendly is scheduled this weekend.
Last weekend Chelsea drew 1-1 in its friendly at home against Knox City Churches.
Chelsea’s goal came from a stunning free-kick from Will Ong and this Thursday Carlo Melino’s outfit meets Aspendale Stingrays at Edithvale Recreation Reserve (6.30pm and 8.30pm).
Baxter went down 2-0 last weekend at home to State 3 title aspirant Noble Park United.
George Hughes’ side did well against a Noble Park outfit that was undefeated last season and has made some significant additions to its squad.
Nathan Yole was back for Baxter and Sunday Kim, a central defender on trial from Doveton, was impressive.
But Nat Daher, Dan Disseldorp, Matt McDermott and Jack Buttery were sidelined due to injury while Robbie O’Toole was unavailable due to cricket commitments.
Baxter travels to Olympic Park this Thursday to take on home side Rosebud at 7.30pm.
Somerville Eagles lost 4-3 to Bendigo City at Epsom Huntly Recreation Reserve on Saturday.
Lee Barber’s side was without Jack Carter, Chris Thomas, Adam Steele, Guil Riberio and Connor Guyett and was 2-1 down at half-time.
Somerville’s goals came from fine finishes by Adrian Pace, Ronnie Krishnan and Connor Mcfall whose volley from inside the area followed an excellent Krishnan cross from the left.
“It was a very pleasing effort given that we had no fresh substitutes and weather conditions were tough,” Barber said.
“And it was a huge effort from Joe Simmons who played a full game in the reserves and seniors.”
Barber takes his side to Rowville Secondary College this Saturday to play Knox Churches at 3pm (reserves 1pm).
Mount Martha was impressive in its 3-0 friendly away to State 4 side Lyndale United.
The visitors took the lead in the 3rd minute when Ethan Sanderson ran onto a fine through ball from Connor Mooney and finished in the bottom corner.
Mount Martha created chance after chance but a combination of good goalkeeping and poor finishing kept it at bay until the 75th minute.
A pinpoint pass from Hamish Bugden split the Lyndale defence and Sanderson cleverly lifted the ball over the advancing keeper to make it 2-0.
Later in the contest Sanderson thought he’d notched his hat-trick but the keeper did well to block his attempt only for Adam Martin to tuck away the loose ball.
This Sunday Mount Martha hosts Mount Eliza in the annual Mental Health Safety Net Cup at Civic Reserve (1pm and 3pm).
Aspendale Stingrays played friendlies on Thursday and Saturday last week winning both games.
On Thursday the Stingrays won 5-0 against State 4 East opponent Noble Park with goals from James Macnab (2), Taylan Yildirim, Kieran Hughes and Ben Garside.
On Saturday the Stingrays won 1-0 against Berwick Churches with Garside getting the winner.