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Birdman links with Lions

15/09/2010 03:37:40 PM Comments (0)

Former high-flying Adelaide forward Brett Burton will join the Brisbane Lions next month as the battling club's new physical performance manager.

Burton spurned an offer to join Crows rivals Port Adelaide as a strength and conditioning coach, preferring to link with the Lions following a 12-year AFL career.

"Throughout my career I've always kept a keen interest in fitness and have always wanted to go down that pathway once footy finished," said the 32-year-old, nicknamed `Birdman'.

"As soon as I announced my retirement, my focus immediately shifted to finding work in that field.

"To now be starting a new job with the Brisbane Lions straight out of footy is certainly a very exciting opportunity."

Burton played 177 matches and kicked 264 goals for the Crows, twice being the club's leading goalkicker in 2002 and 2008.

Injuries ruined his farewell season in the game but the Lions believe the sports science graduate knows what it takes for players to compete at a consistent level.

"Today, the game is so quick and with the rotations and the intensity and the speed that the game is played at, you just can't go out there at anything less than 100 per cent," he said.

Burton, who replaces strength and conditioning manager Lachlan Penfold, will officially start at the Lions on October 4 to prepare them for the 2010 World Expo AFL exhibition match in Shanghai.

"I've pretty much started working already and I'm looking forward to getting my hands dirty straight away," Burton said.

"The off-season is a critical period to get injuries sorted out and start working on our deficiencies as well."

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