Staker may target Hall: Lions coach - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Staker may target Hall: Lions coach

By Laine Clark 12/06/2010 07:50:16 PM Comments (0)

They call themselves "The Men's Department" - a Brisbane Lions clique that even club legend Michael Voss reckons he can't enter.

Membership is easy - if you are a Lions defender.

While there have been some "department" vacancies of late, Brent Staker would have been forgiven for baulking before becoming one of their newest members.

Members have been dropping like flies this year, with Ash McGrath (hamstring) and Matt Maguire (foot) becoming the latest casualties ahead of Sunday's crunch AFL clash with the Western Bulldogs.

But the threat of an injury curse may be the least of Staker's concerns ahead of the Etihad Stadium showdown.

Switching to the Lions' back six has put him on course for a possible re-match this weekend with fiery forward Barry Hall - the man who infamously knocked him out two years ago.

While "department" head Daniel Merrett - back from six weeks battling a hamstring complaint - will initially get the job on Hall, Lions coach Voss has not ruled out Staker rubbing shoulders with his nemesis on Sunday.

"It would almost be like he would rather play on him (Hall) just to make sure he could put to bed what has been said about him," Voss said of Staker.

"I am sure he will a visit down there at some stage.

"(But) he (Merrett) is our best defender and he (Hall) is their best forward so I would have thought it would be a natural match-up."

The spate of injuries in their defensive ranks has been no laughing matter - especially after reports on Saturday emerged that Maguire may have become the fourth Lion in 12 months to have suffered a staph infection.

But Voss still couldn't help make a joke at the expense of the exclusive "Men's Department".

"They've got their own corner of the dressing room that they are very protective of - even I find it tough asking permission to enter," Voss laughed.

"(But) we are jokingly thinking of changing their Men's Department name to something else.

"The guys are coming up with some names for our defenders at the moment - it seems to be an area of the ground that we can't quite get the resilience out of players."

Vice-captain Merrett and Andrew Raines return to a Brisbane side (5-6 record) desperate to keep in touch with the top eight after just one win in seven rounds.

But they line up against a Bulldogs outfit (6-5) just as keen to stay in striking distance of a top four finish following tight back-to-back losses.

The `Dogs had won seven of eight clashes with the Lions before Brisbane upset them in round four by 22 points at the Gabba.

"If there's anything I have learned about this group it is that they are highly coachable and that they will do anything to be able to turn it around," Voss said.

"They are doing a lot of things right and if we persist with that we will turn it around."

Meanwhile, the Lions confirmed that Maguire had been admitted to hospital on Monday night with a staph infection.

A Lions spokesman said Maguire was expected to make a full recovery.

"While the exact source of Maguire's infection is still unknown, the club will continue to review all hygiene, cleaning and maintenance practices in and around its football department to ensure the safest environment for the players and staff," the club said in a statement.

"These practices have been in place since ruckman Matthew Leuenberger and development coach Craig Brittain contracted staphylococcus caprae infections last year."

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