Brown's absence not a problem: Lions coach - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Brown's absence not a problem: Lions coach

By Darren Cartwright 12/03/2011 06:13:16 PM Comments (0)

Brisbane coach Michael Voss says more good than harm will come from skipper Jonathan Brown missing Sunday's 'first' AFL derby against Gold Coast at Southport.

Brown is being rested because of recent a knee infection which will force some positional changes on Voss who is happy to accommodate the situation.

Even though Brown will miss the most eagerly awaited practice match, he is expected to be ready for the Lions' round one clash with Fremantle at the Gabba on March 26.

"He's fine, he just had that infection," Voss said after training on Saturday.

"It's something that held him back from a week of training. He's out here at the moment and spent another forty, fifty minutes training.

"In one way I'd like Browny out there (against the Suns) and in another way I'm glad he's not because it's grabbing other people and forcing them to stand up and get involved."

Gold Coast will also be missing marquee players with skipper Gary Ablett and key defender Campbell Brown unavailable leaving fullback Nathan Bock to stand in as skipper.

A full house is expected at Southport on Sunday for what is a pre-cursor to their official first derby in round seven at the Gabba.

Voss hoped for the sake of the code that Queensland's southeast corner confrontations were embraced by the fans and became as popular as Showdowns between Port Adelaide and Adelaide and WA's 'Derbies' West Coast and Fremantle.

"This is part of being able to start that rivalry," Voss said.

"Where it goes, no one knows, we can only go on past ones with Port and Adelaide and obviously the one over in the west.

"We get that opportunity and we've spoken ad nauseam about what it means to the code and now it's a reality.

"I'm happy to promote it.

"For us we are playing them in round seven and I know the guys are keen to play in that game."

Voss said the club was keeping an eye on the Brendan Fevola situation although the former forward's on-going battle with alcohol and gambling addiction is no longer a daily sideshow for the players.

"They've (Lions club officials) dealt with the issue and we wish him all the best and we continue to support him," Voss said.

"Nothing's changed, but now he's not part of the football club and there will be no distractions as far as that goes."

The Suns will field a much stronger side than the one that could only muster three goals against Sydney last Saturday.

Gutsy midfielder Michael Rischitelli, code-hopper Karmichael Hunt and defenders ex-Western Bulldog Jarrod Harbow and ex-Power defender Nathan Krakouer are amongst included to play the Lions.

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