Akermanis won't be targeted: Lions coach - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Akermanis won't be targeted: Lions coach

By Jim Morton 10/08/2009 06:36:01 PM Comments (0)

Michael Voss has insisted Brisbane won't show an in-form Jason Akermanis any "special attention" in the outspoken former Lion's return to the Gabba.

Saturday night's Brisbane-Western Bulldogs clash - their only 2009 meeting - has more riding on it than an AFL top-four berth after Akermanis delivered a wide-ranging spray at his old club in May.

In return, the Lions threatened the controversial Bulldog, who took a personal shot at Justin Leppitsch, now an assistant coach to Voss, could face legal action for his comments before his 300th game.

At the time, a galled Voss and Brisbane chief executive Michael Bowers would only refer to Akermanis as "a Western Bulldogs player".

But the rookie coach on Monday denied Brisbane would attempt to deliver any rough justice to his former 'fab four' partner in crime.

Voss said the Lions would be on guard for Akermanis's brilliance in attack but wouldn't be motivated by past controversies.

"I wouldn't have thought he (receives) any special attention just from the sheer fact of what's been said in the past or where he's been," Voss said.

"History counts for very little at this point in time. It's about what we've got to achieve at this point.

"He becomes a dangerous player for them and that's our genuine focus.

"What attention he gets is the same attention we have to give to Adam Cooney, the same respect we've got to give to (Matthew) Boyd and the same respect we've got to give to Brad Johnson who's in their forward line, that's to just name a few of their players."

Triple premiership winner Akermanis left the Lions midway through 2006 after a public feud with former coach Leigh Matthews.

His shots at Leppitsch, Chris Scott and Voss's appointment in May reopened old wounds.

Voss said Akermanis had broken an unwritten code while Bowers demanded action from the Bulldogs and also called him the Melbourne club's "problem".

But Voss had no problem referring to the 2001 Brownlow Medallist as 'Jason' on Monday and admitted he would be named in team meetings, especially due to his fine form.

The 32-year-old has overcome injury concerns to play all 18 matches this season and be the Bulldogs leading goalkicker with 34 goals.

"They are fleet of foot and they like to move the ball quickly and he's one of those players up there that we know is a fantastic finisher," he said.

"They don't just have one of them they have a number of them so he's certainly one player we have to keep an eye on as well as others.

"But he's in some genuine form at the moment."

The fourth-placed Bulldogs, two ahead of Brisbane, would lose their place in the top four with another loss to the Lions following Saturday's upset last-gasp defeat to West Coast.

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