Staker sneaking under the radar - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Staker sneaking under the radar

13/03/2010 04:22:55 PM Comments (0)

In a Brisbane Lions forward line containing Jonathan Brown and Brendan Fevola, new recruit Brent Staker is never going to attract too much attention.

But the former West Coast Eagle proved he is going to be a handful for opposition clubs this season after kicking three goals in Friday's 11-point win over Hawthorn in a practice match on the Gold Coast.

Lions coach Michael Voss said he was thrilled with Staker's contribution and confirmed he would be used as the club's third tall forward this season.

"We think so, we think it is something we need to be able to get and that is other guys jumping up," he said.

"And if he is the player that comes in and kicks those goals as a beneficiary, well that's what we have to find."

Staker will relish attracting the opposition's third best defender every week, but Voss stressed his new recruit will have to work extra hard to make an impact.

"It is pretty tough when you are around those type of guys (Brown and Fevola) to get the ball kicked to you," he said.

"So he has to use his work-rate, pop up where needed and he will get his opportunities if he is patient.

"As a half-forward it is a hard working role - your half-forwards now have to work so hard up and down the field."

Voss experimented with his side against Hawthorn, raising eyebrows with some unorthodox positional changes.

At one stage Lions ruckmen Matthew Leuenberger and Mitch Clark both lined up inside the square for a centre bounce.

Usual defender Joel Patfull spent the day tagging Hawks star and Norm Smith Medallist Luke Hodge.

"I think we have enormous flexibility in our list now," said Voss.

"Being able to now look at having players in different roles depending on what we want at the time is good and means we have more options.

"It is an attitude the players are starting to take on and, to be honest, that is the attitude we need to take on."

The win was Brisbane's last hit-out against an AFL side before their March 27 season opener against West Coast at the Gabba.

Voss said the win against the Hawks was important given last week's scratch match against Geelong was cancelled due to wet weather.

"To be able to get the confidence coming in to the season is good and shows that all the work is paying off for something," he said.

"We lost our opportunity last week against Geelong, but to come here (against Hawthorn) and play collectively was a small step in the right direction."

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