Rejuvenated by a young Brisbane squad, Hawthorn great Luke Hodge says he can't wait to launch his AFL return.
But the four-time premiership winner is most looking forward to what the Lions do when he is not on the field.
Hodge, 33, on Thursday confirmed he would only be playing a maximum of 16 games in 2018 after shelving retirement plans and being traded to the rebuilding Lions in the off-season.
The 305-game, ex-Hawks skipper was not included in the Lions leadership group led by reinstated skipper Dayne Beams.
But Hodge looked forward to playing a mentor role to the likes of defender Harris Andrews at the reigning wooden spooners after being energised training alongside the Lions' cubs.
"Being young guys it does make you more energetic," Hodge said of his Lions pre-season.
"I am a bit older but when I am around them you feel the same, you thrive off their energy."
However, the dual Norm Smith medallist said it was just as important to see how the likes of Andrews played without his guidance on the field if they were to reverse their fortunes.
Hodge even lay down the challenge for Andrews to take ownership of the backline in the three-time premiership winning skipper's on-field absence.
"Talking to Fages (coach Chris Fagan) and I will play 15 or 16 (games this year)," Hodge said.
"It's wait and see how my body pulls up after all the travel because it is more than I have done in the past.
"But Fages wants to see when I am not out there, how they communicate and direct each other.
"Harris Andrews, a fantastic young leader at 21, that is his backline to take charge of - we want to see how he takes the team forward as well."
Andrews was promoted to deputy vice-captain in the 2018 Lions leadership group.
Hodge had no regrets about heading north to reunite with Fagan, who he worked with at Hawthorn for nine years.
"I guess why I pulled the pin last year was Hawthorn had a lot of senior blokes coming back from injury and I thought I would be keeping a young bloke out of a spot," he said.
"Plus it's time for the other senior guys at Hawthorn to step up.
"Brisbane are a bit different because they have so many guys under the age of 24.
"My role is to come in here and try to teach them."