Lions 'quarterback' now a marked man - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lions 'quarterback' now a marked man

By Laine Clark 21/04/2009 07:57:51 PM Comments (0)

Think Brisbane Lions dangermen and the likes of Jonathan Brown, Simon Black and Daniel Bradshaw quickly come to mind.

But Josh Drummond has suddenly found himself with a target on his back following his remarkable rise as the Lions' "quarterback".

Drummond has enjoyed comparisons with Hawthorn's Luke Hodge after his success as the Lions' link man between attack and defence thanks to a precise left foot kick Collingwood coach Mick Malthouse has described as "deadly".

Not a bad effort for a bloke who thought his AFL chance had passed him by as he ran around for the Northern Eagles in the Queensland league.

Drummond didn't enjoy much luck after he was finally drafted and elevated from the club's rookie list in 2005.

Despite making his AFL debut four years ago, the injury-plagued Drummond will only notch his 50th game against the Cats at Geelong on Sunday.

To put his shocking run in perspective, 14 is the most games Drummond has played in a season - back in 2005.

"The first couple of years after I didn't get drafted I put a fair amount of effort in and it didn't happen, I thought perhaps my opportunity might have slipped by," Drummond said on Tuesday.

"But I just took the pressure off myself, enjoyed it and played my best footy."

After overcoming a spate of injuries, Drummond is again back to his best footy - and suffering the consequences.

Malthouse made it clear the club put a lot of work on Drummond after Dale Thomas effectively shut the key Lion down in the Magpies' last round 17-point Gabba win.

"Josh Drummond is a fantastic player," Malthouse gushed.

"I don't think there is a left footer more penetrating.

"He hits it like an absolute missile.

"You wouldn't have a chance if you were standing a metre off your opponent from 50 metres - that's how deadly he is.

"So you've got to make sure he doesn't control the game."

Drummond is certainly feeling the heat.

"It has been a challenge but it is something I am enjoying," he said.

"I have to work through it and try and find ways to not let that affect my game."

Lions coach Michael Voss said Drummond better get used to being targeted.

"We are not surprised by those new tactics (of trying to shut down Drummond) - he is an important player with the ball in his hands," he said.

"He makes great decisions. We expect Geelong to put some work into Drummond.

"For his next stage of his football development he has to be able to cope with that, cope with the different strategies.

"And we have got to be able to support him for him to still be a valuable player for us."

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