FROM the moment he played in a premiership with Kergunyah as a 15-year-old, Frank Hodgkin was destined to make his mark at higher levels.
He joined Myrtleford in 1958 and in his debut season at the age of 17 he represented the Ovens and Murray league in an era when only the very best players made the team.
Despite being less than six foot tall, Hodgkin took on and succeeded in one of the most demanding positions on the ground, centre half-forward, as a brilliant mark and kick.
He won the Saints' best and fairest in 1960 and the following year he joined St Kilda for a two-year stint where he again rose to the challenge of playing at a higher level.
He was judged St Kilda's best first-year player and more than held his own until the arrival of the brilliant Darrel Baldock from Tasmania, who would go on to captain the Saints to their only premiership.
Hodgkin, tough, tenacious and feared by all opposition sides, had returned to Myrtleford in 1963 and again won the club's best and fairest.
He spent the next four seasons at Ganmain where he played in back-to-back flags in 1965-66 and claimed the South West league's best and fairest before returning to the O and M, coaching Rutherglen with limited success.
Hodgkin then switched to North Albury where he would go close to savouring O and M premiership glory.
After a starring role in the preliminary final in which he kicked seven goals, Hodgkin was the Hoppers best player in the 1973 grand final, but they would come up short against Benalla.
North Albury reached the preliminary final the following season before Hodgkin took on the coaching job at Mitta United in 1975 and led the club to a premiership in a season in which he also kicked 120 goals.
Hodgkin has the rare distinction of being named in three O and M club's All-Star teams and he played for a fourth O and M club, Wodonga, before returning to Mitta United.