Brown to lead Lions as sole skipper - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Brown to lead Lions as sole skipper

By Laine Clark 04/03/2009 07:15:50 AM Comments (0)

Jonathan Brown is set to play his first game as sole Brisbane Lions captain in their AFL practice match against Melbourne at Cairns on Friday night.

If the former Coleman Medallist pulls up from training without problems, he is expected to be given the green light to head north.

The Lions team will be named on Wednesday.

One of the first decisions new coach Michael Voss made when he took over the reins from Leigh Matthews was name Brown as the sole captain.

He was one of five captains in 2008.

So far Brown has been kept in cotton wool as he eases through the pre-season following minor hip surgery and time off for his honeymoon.

"I have had a slower progression. Vossy has been keen for me to not get too far ahead of myself," Brown said when he began pre-season training recently.

"I probably have gone a bit slower this year. I had a hip operation in the off-season but it has been a more concerted approach just to have a slower build-up - and I feel good for it that's for sure.

"I had an extra few weeks off for my honeymoon, eating pizza and having a few beers overseas - that's probably why I am a little bit behind as well."

The Lions will play Melbourne in far north Queensland after being knocked out of the NAB Cup following a two-point loss to Essendon last Friday night.

Cheynee Stiller - who stood out with 19 disposals in the loss - regarded the Melbourne match as another key stepping stone toward the 2009 season proper, not a holiday.

He said the team had relished the new approach under Voss, admitting a change had to be made following their finals drought since 2004.

"There's been a lot more ball in hand stuff in the pre-season under Vossy," he said.

"We are working on a new gameplan. It's slowly coming along but there's still plenty of work to do and we are looking forward to putting it into practice again on Friday.

"Since 2004 the Lions haven't played finals. If you look at it that way change had to happen."

He also looked forward to the Lions' much anticipated pre-season showdown on the Gold Coast with a Richmond outfit expected to boast former bad boy Ben Cousins.

The AFL has confirmed Richmond will play a practice match against the Lions at Carrara, most likely next Friday.

"You always want to test yourself against the best in the competition and Ben was an elite midfielder before he had a break - it will be a good challenge," Stiller said.

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