Steep learning curve keeps Voss busy - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Steep learning curve keeps Voss busy

By Roger Vaughan 26/02/2009 08:30:37 PM Comments (0)

Experiments in game styles among AFL teams means the learning curve is particularly steep for new Brisbane coach Michael Voss.

The Lions will play Essendon on Friday night at Telstra Dome in a pre-season quarter-final.

It will be the second game for Brisbane with Voss as head coach and he said it was noticeable that many teams were trying new tactics.

The zone defence that worked so well for premiers Hawthorn has obviously caught the attention of the rest of the league, but Voss said generally there was plenty of innovation.

"There are a lot of teams at the moment that are trying different things," he said.

"If you want to use Hawthorn as a model, you can, if you want to use Geelong as a model, you can - but ultimately there are a lot of teams doing things differently.

"Any game you can see at the moment ... you've got to look at them quite intensely.

Voss definitely noted some strong work by Essendon key forwards such as Scott Gumbleton and Jay Neagle in their round-one win over the Western Bulldogs.

"They were very good how they presented at the ball ... this is the time of the year to see those guys, in terms of where they've progressed from one season to the next," Voss said.

Essendon will regain Alwyn Davey and Scott Lucas, while the Lions will rest several key players such as captain Jonathan Brown and ruckman Jamie Charman.

"I don't want to understate what the NAB Cup means, but we also need to know that round one is where our focus is and at the moment, our priority is to get game time into guys," Voss said.

He added that just as the Lions' players are adapting to his way of doing things, the coaching staff are also feeling their way.

This will be Brisbane's first game outside of Queensland under Voss and he said they would continue to work on tactics and positioning of various players.

"I don't think it will ever change as a learning experience for me, the priority is just to get in the chair and have a bit of a look," he said.

"The priority for us obviously is to get us working together like the team working out on the field.

"We have to do the same in the coaches' box."

Meanwhile, Albert Proud will return to the side against Essendon after serving a club-imposed suspension.

Proud is due to face an assault charge soon after an incident in a Gold Coast bar.

"He's been training with us for a little while now and we deemed we'd gone as far as we needed to go," Voss said.

"I don't think he's been on top of the world, let's put it that way.

"What we've been very impressed with Albert is just the way he's gone about his business, he's stepped up over the pre-season."

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