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No nerves for Voss the Boss - yet

By Laine Clark 14/03/2009 05:05:12 PM Comments (0)

The nerves haven't kicked in for rookie Brisbane Lions coach Michael Voss - yet.

But the former Brownlow Medallist would be forgiven for feeling a tad anxious.

After falling over the line against St Kilda in their NAB Cup opener, the Lions lost their last three games leading up to the 2009 AFL first round.

Key trio Simon Black (broken hand), Jamie Charman (knee) and Daniel Merrett (rested) look set to run out against West Coast at the Gabba on March 28 without playing a pre-season game.

And in their final hit-out ahead of the new season the Lions fell to a Richmond line-up inspired by a 30-year-old attempting a comeback from drug addiction - but to be fair, it was Ben Cousins.

But Voss couldn't hide his excitement as he prepared to officially make the step from AFL player to coach.

The occasion was put into perspective by a chance meeting with former teammate Craig McCrae, now a Tigers assistant, ahead of the Lions' 15-point loss to Richmond at the Gold Coast on Friday night.

"I actually bumped into a good mate Craig McCrae and he said 'how are the nerves?'," Voss said on Saturday.

"I said I was really surprised by my (low) level of nerves.

"I am sure that won't be the same at round one I can tell you because when the four points are on the end of it, it just adds that extra edge to you.

"You can slowly feel the intensity building up to the season. Practice matches are done - now we get into the real stuff.

"It's exciting, I can't wait and the players can't wait. We want to get stuck into it."

And it would appear there is plenty to get stuck into for the Lions.

Recent results have not been ideal.

Consistency over four quarters is a concern.

And goals have not exactly been on tap for the new-look Lions.

Throw in a quad injury to key utility Jared Brennan and a lack of match fitness for Black, Merrett and Charman and, well, you get the picture.

Voss wondered what all the fuss was about after claiming that there was "no reason" why Black, Merrett and Charman would not play in the opener against the Eagles.

"It's a bit difficult to take anything out of it (pre-season results)," Voss said.

"I would love to have been playing the NAB Cup final against Geelong, that would have been great.

"But I don't have a concern about that at all.

"One thing this team does like to do is set a challenge and then meet it.

"But we need to be able to play four quarters, and that is about playing hard, intense football over a long period of time, not one quarter here and there."

And as for being toppled by a Cousins-inspired Richmond?

"It's no surprise to me how well Ben Cousins is going," Voss said after Cousins grabbed 31 touches and his first goal for the Tigers on Friday night.

"We know his history, he keeps getting asked about it.

"(But) I think you've just got to treat Ben Cousins as a player. And he is a fantastic player."

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