Best is yet to come from Fevola: Brown - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Best is yet to come from Fevola: Brown

By Laine Clark 18/04/2010 11:28:51 AM Comments (0)

His life sometimes resembles a bad soap opera but the script could not have been written better for controversial forward Brendan Fevola in the Brisbane Lions' defining AFL win over the Western Bulldogs.

And Lions skipper Jonathan Brown hinted that it was just a preview of what was to come.

But the Lions tried to evade being tagged flag contenders despite winning the opening four games of the season for the first time since 2002 - a premiership year for the team.

There were no prizes for guessing who everyone came to see at the Gabba blockbuster on Saturday night - Fevola's first game since revealing he had a chronic gambling addiction.

And he shone under the limelight, overcoming a shaky start to boot four goals in the third term to set up the Lions' 22-point victory.

But it was no surprise to Brown.

"Talking to him during the week there was relief for him going public. It has actually freed him up for the first time in a long time," Brown said.

The Lions skipper hinted Fevola would reach even greater heights now that he had gone public about his problem.

"It is a difficult thing when you have something weighing heavily on your mind and have to hide it from everyone," said Brown, who was also inspirational with two goals.

"He found a sense of freedom this week and he has been able to perform even better."

Lions coach Michael Voss also paid credit to Fevola's strength of mind.

"He was able to focus," Voss said.

"In that third quarter he was able to help us get the score on the board when we were struggling a little bit - he lifted."

While Voss claimed his side had taken a "step up" after avenging their 51-point 2009 semi-final loss to the Dogs, he shied away from the premiership contender tag.

"To say we have become that is disrespecting the word," Voss said.

"Twelve wins gets you in the eight - until you get that, nothing matters."

Brown added: "To beat a side regarded as a top four calibre team ... to be able to get that belief under our belts is pretty important.

"The first month was a big focus for us, it was a huge platform for where we want to be at the end of the year."

While Fevola was the focus on Saturday night, Brown said the match also highlighted the form of utility Jared Brennan and hard-tackling Michael Rischitelli.

Brown said the once mercurial Brennan - who sealed the win with a late goal - could now be called an elite footballer.

The win was made even more impressive by the fact that they were without Brownlow Medallist Simon Black because of a calf injury.

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