Pressure is on for Lions' new boys - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Pressure is on for Lions' new boys

By Laine Clark & Crystal Ja 13/02/2009 06:57:12 PM Comments (0)

They have never played in the AFL but four youngsters can already relate to the pressure facing Brisbane Lions legend Michael Voss.

All eyes will be on Voss when he makes his Lions coaching debut in the NAB Cup opener against St Kilda at Carrara on Saturday night - 17 years after he ran out as a Brisbane player for the first time at the same venue.

Despite the relaxed demeanour he has shown all week, Voss wouldn't be human if he didn't feel a pang of pressure when he sits down at Carrara grasping the clipboard rather than the Sherrin.

Expectation may be building to fever pitch for Brisbane's favourite son but spare a thought for the Lions family's most recent additions - draftees Daniel Rich, Jack Redden, Aaron Cornelius and Adam Spackman.

They will make their Lions debuts in a young side without the likes of Simon Black (injury), Jonathan Brown, Daniel Merritt and Daniel Bradshaw (all rested).

In an indication of the pressure the youngsters are under, Lions' top draft pick Rich has already been slapped with a media ban.

Armed with a booming left foot kick and an even bigger reputation, Rich won two WAFL premierships by the age of 18 and is considered a shoo-in to make his AFL debut in the season proper's opening round next month.

Although he was No.7 draft pick overall, Rich is held in such high esteem he was the favourite to win the 2009 NAB Rising Star award when Sportingbet Australia opened their market this month.

"This is a big opportunity to prove ourselves really," No.25 draft pick, Glenelg midfielder Redden, 18, told AAP on Friday.

"There is pressure on all of us but we don't want to take any notice of that.

"We just want to do our best, have a crack, and whatever comes out of that so be it."

The youngsters will run out alongside the likes of club vice-captains Luke Power and Jed Adcock who will lead the team in the absence of skipper Brown.

Meanwhile, Saints captain Nick Riewoldt was hopeful Justin Koschitzke would play for the defending NAB Cup champions on Saturday night despite suffering an ankle injury at training on the Gold Coast on Thursday.

The Saints left out Riewoldt (knee), Lenny Hayes (calf) and Steven Baker (knee), but injury-plagued key defender Matt Maguire is set to play his first football against another club for 10 months.

Even Riewoldt was interested to see how a Voss-coached Lions would fare.

"I think Vossy is a guy that would certainly have his own style and he'll do his own way," he said.

"He's a terrific ambassador for the game up here and it's great and exciting for Michael to be coaching the Lions."

The Lions are one of only three teams to have never won a pre-season competition.

And they have not won a match at Gold Coast Stadium since round seven of the 2006 AFL season.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2021 AAP

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