Jonathan Brown back for Brisbane - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Jonathan Brown back for Brisbane

By Laine Clark 04/03/2009 06:07:17 PM Comments (0)

Be afraid - Lions king Jonathan Brown has got his "bounce back".

Finally fully fit, Brown will make his debut as sole Lions captain in their AFL practice match against Melbourne at Cairns on Friday night.

The Lions will field their strongest line-up yet under new coach Michael Voss after also welcoming back vice-captain Luke Power, Travis Johnstone, Michael Rischitelli and Jared Brennan for the clash.

Simon Black - one of four vice-captains under Voss' new reign - will be sidelined for another two weeks with a broken hand.

But the Brownlow Medallist is predicting Brown to make an impact when he plays his milestone match in far north Queensland.

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.

"He's been out with the main group for two or three weeks and he's starting to look like he's getting his bounce back, which is really good," Black told the Lions' website.

"They were really slow with his hip operation over the summer to make sure he gets enough miles under his legs, but as far as I know he's up to that level now and he's achieved what he needs to as far as fitness levels are concerned."

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

He was one of five captains in 2008.

Despite the radical change to the leadership group, Brown said it was "business as usual".

"Blacky and Lukey (Power) are former captains and I still view them very much that way, not a lot has changed," Brown said when he began pre-season training.

"The players' enthusiasm toward training and all that has made it (captaincy) a pretty easy job to be honest.

"I am looking forward to getting into the season and showing how tight a group we have."

The coaching change was also agreeing with Brown.

"Vossy is bringing in all sorts of systems and putting his stamp on the place that's for sure, the players have relished it," Brown said of the new coach.

"His message is getting through to the playing group.

"And when you are learning a new system there is an enthusiasm to it even for blokes who have been here a while like myself."

The Lions have rested Tim Notting, Ash McGrath, Justin Sherman and Daniel Dzufer after they played in the two-point NAB Cup quarterfinal loss to Essendon last Friday night.

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