GWS forward Hogan finally out of footy wilderness

Matt Turner/AAP PHOTOS

GWS forward Jesse Hogan says it's taken nine years, but he's finally out of the footy wilderness.

Hogan says his starring four-goal role in the Giants' polished 23-point semi-final win against Port Adelaide extends a career-best stretch.

The 28-year-old's road to Friday night's preliminary final against Collingwood has been pockmarked by injuries, cancer and mental stress.

But the Giants' wildcard says he's now at the peak of his powers.

"If you put last year and this year together, then definitely," Hogan told AAP.

"It's the most games I have played and some of the most consistent footy I have played."

Hogan's semi-final was his 22nd game this year - a personal best. He's kicked 48 goals - another personal best.

"I have been pretty lucky this year with injuries," he said.

"I have been able to stay on the park and that goes a long way when it comes to form."

Injuries have accompanied Hogan througout his 139-game career spread over three clubs, Melbourne, then Fremantle, who tossed him away to GWS for token draft pick number 54 three years ago.

He's hurt ankles, knees and feet among other ailments and in 2017, weeks after his father Tony died from cancer, was diagnosed with testicular cancer.

But Hogan says he's now fully fit and his coach Adam Kingsley isn't shocked by the increasing influence of a talent once considered wasted.

"He is obviously quite experienced in terms of years played in the game," Kingsley said.

"But he's still learning, he's still growing, he still can improve.

"He's still getting better and he embraces it too, which is great."

Hogan is now embracing a preliminary final against Collingwood at a near sold-out MCG.

"I was thinking about it a little bit at three quarter-time, potentially what next week could look like," Hogan said after booting 4.4 and taking nine marks to sink Port.

"But now that it's a reality, super-exciting.

"They have been the best team all year and they touched us up earlier in the year."

That was a Mother's Day mauling in May: a 65-point Magpie win.

Much has changed since then, for Hogan and for his Giants.

"Basically for the last 10 weeks we have had to win every game, there's been nothing really for us to lose," Hogan said.

"We have beaten top teams in the past and we do it away most week so there's great belief in this team."

Hogan said the prelim promised a breakneck battle of two teams who thrive on daring and speedy ball movement.

"They (Collingwood) set the bar this year," he said.

"And we're not trying to emulate their style but we're playing a very similar style.

"We will sit down and review how we can stop them or somewhat quell their impact.

"But we'll focus a lot on our game. We have got a lot of offensive weapons and defensive weapons, we're pretty solid throughout the ground."