He may be lining up for his 200th AFL game, but Heritier Lumumba is happy that the spotlight is shining on emerging Melbourne Demons forward Jesse Hogan.
The 28-year-old says he’s as excited as anyone to see how Hogan fares in his debut against Gold Coast at the MCG on Saturday.
Lumumba said he’d witnessed at close quarters the talents of the 20-year-old key forward and couldn’t help but be impressed.
Compared to a young Jonathan Brown, Hogan’s debut is coming a year later than expected after a pre-season back injury derailed his 2014 season.
“I’m really excited,” Lumumba said.
“He’s been spoken about a lot but from day one I’ve loved the way he’s gone about his football.
“His preparation, his professionalism and his desire and competitiveness; all those things make up a good footballer.”
Lumumba himself shares many of those qualities, which he hopes will translate to an improved season for the long-suffering Demons.
After 199 games for Collingwood between 2005 and 2014, he said the move to the Demons had rejuvenated him on and off the field.
“If you asked me this time last year I would have said that I would prefer to play at one club (Collingwood), but now that I’ve made the transition I’ve been able to rejuvenate my career,” Lumumba said.
“The experience has been fantastic for me, not just from a football sense, but for my life in general.”
Lumumba said he was grateful to Demons coach Paul Roos for the opportunity and the experience had so far lived up to expectations.
“The initial meeting (before joining Melbourne) with Paul Roos was fantastic for me.
“It got me to understand what the culture would be, and Roosy’s composure does permeate throughout the whole club.
“I knew straight away that that would be a fantastic environment for me to be in and I haven’t been disappointed.
“This has been a really healthy change for me.”