Bradshaw ready to step up for Lions - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bradshaw ready to step up for Lions

By Laine Clark 04/06/2008 07:18:32 PM Comments (0)

Life without Jonathan Brown would have been unthinkable for the Brisbane Lions just last season.

While the Lions will still be sweating on their prized co-captain Brown's fitness before Sunday's AFL clash with Fremantle, Brisbane won't have to look far for inspiration if he succumbs to a knee injury.

Forward Daniel Bradshaw says he is more than comfortable with stepping into Brown's big shoes if the reigning Coleman Medallist pulls out.

And no wonder - after Brown carried the Lions in 2007, he has happily become a support act for new headliner Bradshaw.

The Lions' one dimensional forward line of last season has been replaced by the twin towers of Brown and Bradshaw in 2008, kicking 76 goals in 10 games to date.

That haul includes six goals each in the past two games.

Bradshaw has made a remarkable comeback from a knee injury that ruled him out of 2007, kicking 43 goals with more than half of the season still left.

His personal best haul of 59 majors is in serious threat and Alastair Lynch's club record of 78 in 2003 appears on borrowed time.

Now a player who gingerly walked onto the practice field with modest goals for 2008 has the confidence to step up if Brown falters.

"I feel reasonably comfortable if Browny doesn't pull up," Bradshaw said.

"I have played a bit on the forward line when Lynchy and Browny weren't there as well (in the past).

"And we've got other players - they aren't Jonathan Brown - but they can do their part and hopefully we can get a win."

Brown underwent a light 10 minute skill drill before leaving the Gabba on Wednesday night but the Lions will know more about his availability on Friday.

Brown - who went within one of Lynch's record to win the Coleman Medal last year - has 33 goals in 2008.

He hyperextended his knee in Brisbane's 31-point win over North Melbourne last weekend - their third straight.

Bradshaw's form has already sparked talk of everything from new club records to Coleman Medals for the Lions' comeback kid.

Bradshaw joked that there was only one way he would collect Brisbane's second straight Coleman Medal.

"Maybe if (Hawthorn's Lance) Franklin falls over and hurts himself, which of course I don't want to happen," he laughed.

But his 2007 injury heartbreak taught Bradshaw that it doesn't pay to look too far ahead.

"I had a little hiccup in the pre-season where I was still getting a bit of pain but once that went I did everything they asked of me and felt really confident in it," he said.

"I came into the season without big expectations, just enjoy myself - I'm not going out there putting too much pressure on myself.

"I don't want to look too far ahead, anything can happen like last year."

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