Voss has proven doubters wrong: Black - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Voss has proven doubters wrong: Black

By Laine Clark 13/05/2009 02:38:00 PM Comments (0)

Keeping outspoken AFL star Jason Akermanis quiet is no mean feat.

But Brisbane Lions vice-captain Simon Black reckons rookie coach Michael Voss has already silenced his critics, just seven rounds into the AFL season.

Eyebrows were raised - most notably by former teammate Akermanis - when Voss was fast-tracked into the Lions job this season following Leigh Matthews' shock departure.

But Black believes no one should doubt Voss' "footy smarts" after his impressive start to the 2009 season.

"I know a lot of people have doubted whether he would be up for it because he hasn't coached before," Black told AAP.

"But his knowledge of the game, personal and communication skills allow him to do the job fantastically well.

"The guys sit on every word he says.

"He's got that pull with the playing group.

"From the oldest guy to the youngest guy, everyone is rapt with having him at the club."

Akermanis had said former Brisbane player Craig McRae was his preferred candidate for the Lions job and named another five people who should have got the gig - but none of them were Voss.

However, Black said he was "getting used" to Akermanis making big calls.

"That's Aker," Black said.

"I've heard it (his opinion) for 10, 12 years so I'm starting to get used to it.

"I think he (Voss) takes what Aker has to say with a grain of salt."

Voss was Black's idol when he led the Lions to three straight premierships from 2001.

And Black still sounded in awe of the fellow Brownlow Medalist as a coach.

"I obviously looked up to him when I played alongside him - it was a great thrill," Black said.

"You feel like you are 10 foot tall when he is out there with you.

"He's always been a bit of a mentor of mine, so it's awesome now that he is coaching."

Black said Voss had made a smooth transition into coaching despite not serving an apprenticeship - Akermanis' main complaint.

"What you want from a coach is honest feedback," he said.

"And after you have a crack you want a sense that your coach is proud of you, and you get that from Vossy.

"The players really respond to that."

Voss has led the Lions to sixth with a 4-3 record after notching back-to-back wins.

He has already achieved what his legendary predecessor Matthews could not, breaking long standing hoodoos against Sydney and Richmond this season.

"Vossy does a great job, he's a very smart guy," Black said.

"And he's a coach who is going to improve. He's not at the peak of his powers at the moment but he is only going to get better.

"The great thing is that the group responds and respects what he does and where he comes from."

Voss' next assignment is taking on Adelaide at the Gabba on Saturday night.

Adelaide (3-4; 12th) will arrive at Brisbane still smarting from a last round loss to a Western Bulldogs outfit inspired by, you guessed it, Akermanis.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2022 AAP

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