Lions' top draft choice has Rich future - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lions' top draft choice has Rich future

By Roger Vaughan 30/05/2009 07:51:21 PM Comments (0)

Daniel Rich beat Jack Ziebell on Saturday at Etihad Stadium, but it most likely was just the first round in a long, engrossing duel.

Rich, the No.7 pick in last year's AFL national draft, was best afield with 25 possessions as Brisbane beat North Melbourne by three goals.

Ziebell went to North two picks after Rich and the pair have enjoyed standout debuts so far this season.

Rich started on a half-forward flank and Ziebell was his opponent.

Brisbane coach Michael Voss knows the pair well from his team as an Australian Institute of Sport coach and he enjoyed watching the contest.

"Obviously I've spent time with both of them at the AIS and when I saw him (Ziebell) wandering down there I thought 'aw, this will be interesting'," he said.

"They're two young bulls .... they look like they're going to be great players for their respective sides over a long period."

While Rich benefitted from a lighter training load over the last couple of weeks, Ziebell looked a little weary.

"It was good to see him running 'on top of the ground' again and breaking into space," Voss said of Rich.

"To be able to run the lines was something I hadn't seen for a couple of weeks from Richy, so to see him do that and work hard was something he's been working on a lot."

But Voss also pointed out it was far too early to tell which player will have the better career.

Indeed, it may well prove that the two clubs made the right decision, given that Rich and Ziebell seem destined for stellar careers.

"Time tells what sort of players (they) are going to be and how much value they've been to their clubs," Voss said.

"We're all perfect judges in hindsight."

Rich was one of the more interesting stories in last year's draft, given he had to wait until pick seven for his selection.

The Lions did not hesitate when he was still in the pool for their first choice.

Voss and Lions captain Jonathan Brown said Rich had benefitted from playing two seasons of senior football in WA before joining the AFL.

Rich is used to the media attention and has played alongside men.

"HIs kicking is the cream on the cake, but he's a very level-headed kid, he's not the sort of kid who will hit the brick wall," Brown said.

"He just takes it in his stride.

"He's such a strong kid and he's going to be a great player for this footy club - he'll keep going from strength to strength because of his mental strength."

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