Bradshaw, Merrett out for Lions - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bradshaw, Merrett out for Lions

25/08/2009 06:01:45 PM Comments (0)

The personnel may have changed dramatically for the Brisbane Lions but vice-captain Luke Power reckons the goal will remain the same against Sydney on Saturday night - secure a home AFL final.

Beating the Swans at Sydney for the first time since 2003 will lock up a home playoff - a task made that much tougher by the loss on Tuesday of key forward Daniel Bradshaw (quad) and fullback Daniel Merrett (hamstring).

A defeat ensures the Lions will fly out to play their first finals game in five years against either Carlton or Adelaide.

Sydney aren't in finals contention but will be pumped up to send out retiring greats Jared Crouch, Michael O'Loughlin and Leo Barry as winners.

The odds are stacked against the Lions, but Power said the game-plan had not changed.

"We're still gunning for a home final," Power said.

"No doubt they (Swans) will be fired up.

"But the emotion of playing in finals, the emotion of being able to secure a home final should be driving us - it is something we will go into the game pretty pumped up about.

"We believe that we can go to Sydney and give it our best and win without quality players.

"And you want to go in (to the finals) with form - you don't want to be cannon fodder in the finals."

The Lions' bullet-proof self belief stems from their stirring effort against Port at the Gabba last Saturday night, when they came back from 47-points down to win by 15 points.

It was payback for Port's heated 48-point win at Adelaide over the Lions earlier this season.

Now the Lions have "bullies" the Swans in their sights.

And after notching their first win in five years over the Swans at the Gabba in April, Power said the Lions were confident of breaking their six-year Sydney hoodoo at the SCG on Saturday night.

"Sydney has ... just bullied us all over the ground in the last few years," Power said.

"But we showed earlier this year that we can match it and beat them at their own game - and that's what we aim to do at the SCG this weekend."

Power believed Bradshaw and Merrett would be available for the finals opener after they both suffered injuries in the Lions' stirring comeback win over Port.

Meanwhile, Power did not rule out injured ruckman Matthew Leuenberger (knee) playing his first AFL game since round three.

And Jed Adcock (knee) is on track to play despite being ruled out for the season two months ago.

Leuenberger made his return from knee surgery complications in the reserves last weekend.

It would be a timely return as fill-in ruckman Mitch Clark contemplates containing Swans pair Darren Jolly and Mike Pyke.

Meanwhile, South Australian midfielder and AIS Academy graduate Hayden Jolly has agreed to join the Gold Coast Football Club.

Jolly, who plays reserves for Glenelg, will start training under coach Guy McKenna in November and play with GCFC in the VFL next year.

GCFC joins the AFL in 2011.

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