Brennan keeps AFL in perspective - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Brennan keeps AFL in perspective

By Laine Clark 22/06/2008 10:31:59 AM Comments (0)

Like most AFL players, Brisbane Lions utility Jared Brennan doesn't mind flicking the TV on to The Footy Show.

But there won't be a Sherrin in sight.

The 23-year-old admits the Brennan household is only interested in the show's rugby league version - an attitude that has helped turn his AFL career around.

In the best season of his six-year career, Brennan again proved the difference as the Brisbane Lions came from behind to clinch a gutsy 13-point win over Adelaide at the Gabba.

Stealing the limelight was no mean feat - Lions co-captain Luke Power nabbed an incredible 40 possessions, nine more than Brennan.

AFL may be an afterthought for Brennan at the home he shares with wife Sharai and daughters Leila and Emma - but the on-field results have been stunning.

"I don't live and breath football like I did my first couple of years here," Brennan said.

"I wouldn't watch another football game until we come in on Tuesday and review the game.

"I would probably watch the rugby league shows on Sunday see what Matty Johns has to say - that's a big part of it."

Dubbed Brisbane's X-factor upon his 2003 arrival, Brennan had only been able to earn the less desirable "mercurial" tag from critics desperate to see his freakish talent consistently.

But these days the Northern Territory product has stopped listening to the AFL cynics.

In fact, he doesn't listen to much AFL at all after becoming burnt out by the analysis that can saturate the game.

"We get encouraged to watch opposition players. I used to think that was the way to go," he said.

"But these days I watch them enough to get an idea of what they are about ... but other than that, I just go home (and) chill out with my daughters."

Power was "superb" but Lions coach Leigh Matthews made it clear who he thought turned the game on its head.

"Jared Brennan's contribution around the middle of the ground to start getting some impetus from the stoppages was critical," he said.

"He had eight clearances and I would have thought all of them were in the second half.

"So a lot came from him. It was Jared's role in there as much as anything (that won the game)."

The Lions looked gone before Brennan was switched from the forward line into the midfield in the second half in a Matthews master stroke.

"That half he played as a midfielder was certainly the best half he's played in that function," Matthews said.

Brennan was simply relishing being pitched into the midfield at length for the first time in six weeks.

"I've been telling them I wanted a crack in the midfield for a while now," he laughed.

Brennan admitted he was finally at his most consistent after his first full pre-season since arriving in Brisbane.

"That was extremely important. You don't realise until you do one that pre-seasons are crucial, just to give you confidence into the season," said Brennan who knocked back an off-season offer from childhood idols Essendon to re-sign until 2010.

But getting the body right clearly comes a distant second to getting the head right for Brennan.

"My brain is just not consumed with football. There's other things other than football in my life," he said.

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