Lions forward Clark Franklin-like: Brown - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lions forward Clark Franklin-like: Brown

Sam Lienert 19/03/2011 10:04:06 AM Comments (0)

Brisbane captain Jonathan Brown says he sees qualities of Lance Franklin in the player set to fill the void left by Brendan Fevola in the AFL club's attack.

Mitch Clark, the 200cm 23-year-old who made his name in the ruck for the Lions, is set for a big year up forward as the Lions search for more goal-kickers, Brown believes.

While Clark is unlikely to match the goal hauls of Hawthorn's 2008 Coleman Medallist Franklin, Brown said 50 majors for the season was within his reach.

"Mitch Clark's had a fantastic pre-season," the skipper said.

"He's certainly capable of kicking that, that's for sure.

"He's hugely athletic, Buddy Franklin-like in his athleticism.

"He'll be able to settle into one position this year.

"He'll have to play little bits in the ruck, but I'm predicting a big year for him."

While Clark has only kicked 34 goals in his 65-game career so far, the Lions will need some players to dramatically improve on their goal-kicking records if they are to fill the hole left by Fevola's sacking.

With Fevola's exit and Justin Sherman's trade to the Western Bulldogs, youngster Todd Banfield (27 goals last season) is the only remaining Lion apart from Brown who kicked more than 10 goals last year.

The season before that, long-time Lions star forward Daniel Bradshaw, now with Sydney, and Sherman were the club's top scorers behind Brown.

The captain said while he no longer had a proven forward partner, in the mould of Bradshaw or Fevola to ease the opposition defensive focus on him, it could make the side less predictable.

"We probably don't have the traditional full-forward in a sense this year," he said.

"But I'm confident we'll have a greater spread of goal-kickers.

"That's the thing we need to focus on, not focus on what's been traditional for the Lions and that's having two guys kicking 70, 80 goals a year."

Despite the loss of Michael Rischitelli, Brennan, Sherman and Fevola and a terrible finish to last season, Brown said he was confident the Lions can play finals this season.

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