Lions draftees to fill big shoes - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lions draftees to fill big shoes

By Laine Clark 03/12/2008 08:13:50 PM Comments (0)

As a highly touted AFL Draft pick, Daniel Rich has plenty to live up to at his new home the Brisbane Lions.

But perhaps the most pressure lies on the shoulders of pick No.57 Aaron Cornelius - simply for picking a guernsey number.

All eyes were on classy WA midfielder Rich when the Lions' six selections from the weekend draft arrived for their first session with the full squad at Brisbane on Wednesday.

However, Tasmanian forward Cornelius, 18, quickly became the talking point after snapping up guernsey No.44 - the former playing number of none other than retired Lions great Nigel Lappin.

"They (Lions) gave us a few numbers (to choose from). I actually picked 13 to start off with but changed my mind later on," Cornelius said.

"I have been here at the club for a day and a lot of people talk about him (Lappin).

"It's a big number to take on board but hopefully I can hold my head high."

Lions coach Michael Voss was pleasantly surprised to have grabbed the likes of Rich and Cornelius.

At 18, Rich is already a dual WAFL premiership player and All Australian under 18 selection and was tipped all year to be the No.3 Draft pick.

However, the Lions picked up Rich - armed with a booming left foot kick - at No.7.

"There's a lot of scuttlebutt that happens before the Draft (but) we sought of thought we may have to go another way because we thought he would be gone," Voss said.

"We are very pleased to have him here. We think he can add something to our midfield in the future.

"He's got a couple of weapons there that we might be able to use in the future.

"But we are not expecting him to come out and dominate straight away."

Cornelius - ranked in the top five for marks in the AFL under 18 titles - was another "bonus", according to Voss.

"We certainly came out of it (draft) very favourably we think, even Aaron Cornelius, we thought he would be top 30 but we got him at No.57, to be able to get him was a bonus," Voss said.

Despite being a life-long West Coast fan, Rich was still pinching himself as he walked out beside Voss and with former Coleman Medallist Jonathan Brown ripping into skill drills.

"To have someone (as coach) like Vossy is just incredible," Rich said.

"Not just the way he played but his leadership skills, to be under him and see some of these players here is amazing."

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