In the second of a club-by-club series, we look at how Michael Voss upended Brisbane’s list chasing one more flag.
Live selections: 27, 47, 73, 84, 91
Rookie promotion selections: 95 (Pearce Hanley)
It is blindingly obvious that coach Michael Voss has taken the view that the top end of his list has another flag in them, which has led to a clean-out of the lower ranks and a splurge on the trade market to force his way into top four contention once again. After his game of 52 Card Pickup, the Lions list looks nothing like it did last year.
Despite the hype over the forward line trade shenanigans, the most apparent result of this is in the key defenders, where the Lions have lost five of the seven in last year’s starting depth chart, with only Joel Patfull and Daniel Merrett remaining. The loss of the perfectly serviceable Joel Macdonald for nothing is particularly mystifying, but then again I’m not a three-time premiership captain, so what would I know. What surprises me is that among the five senior players that Voss traded for, none was a tall defender. More than any other of the holes in the Lions’ charts, this is the one that I think will be targeted for a mature-age recruit. It fits Voss’ mood for him to be looking at mature-agers from lower leagues, in addition to the recycled players he has already jumped on. Names like Matt Maguire and Mitch Thorp have already been worked over on Lion fan boards, though I suspect Voss might have a smokie lined up. Perhaps the new CHB might already be on their list… one of their ruckmen, perhaps, such as Jared Brennan? Or young Tom Collier, who is currently in as good a position as any to be the next Sam Gilbert at the Lions. It’s a big unanswered question at this stage.
Lion fans, when they aren’t bitching about the new Paddlepop Lion logo, are also worried about Brisbane’s lack of a small crumbing forward. This is a perennial complaint of at least half the fans in the AFL about their team, but it is true that the Lions lost a little something when they delisted Rhan Hooper and to a lesser extent Scott Harding. This is probably an area which has been laid out for Justin Sherman to exploit on a rotational basis, the same way that the likes of Leon Davis and Patrick Dangerfield did in 2009 to great effect. Nevertheless, without a dedicated forward under 180cm there is a weakness there in what is now called frontal pressure, which may have Voss searching for a mature-bodied Daniel Chick type in the draft.