Lions new leader uncertain of future - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lions new leader uncertain of future

By Laine Clark 21/03/2011 07:21:17 PM Comments (0)

Elevation to the Brisbane Lions leadership group will have "no impact" on looming contract talks, an in-demand Mitch Clark says.

The Lions made it clear they had big plans for Clark when adding the 23-year-old WA product to their new-look group along with youngster Tom Rockliff and Josh Drummond on Monday.

They join captain Jonathan Brown, Daniel Merrett and Jed Adcock in the elite group.

Promotion could help Brisbane in any tug-of-war with WA clubs over the off-contract key position player.

But Clark - an East Fremantle export - surprisingly hinted that no one should read too much into it.

Clark remained at the Lions in 2011 after investigating the possibility of a trade to the west.

"No, it (the future) wasn't discussed at all (before his promotion)," Clark said on Monday.

"I don't think you should be picked in a leadership group to try and keep you at a football club - hopefully that is not the case here."

Asked if being named in the group would have an impact on future contract talks, Clark said: "No impact at all.

"I am happy at the Lions. I just want to play footy this year, contribute to the team and contract time will take care of itself."

Following Brendan Fevola's sacking, Clark is more important than ever due to his ability to pinch hit between the forward line and ruck to assist Matthew Leuenberger.

The once injury-plagued Clark has played 65 games since his 2006 AFL debut.

Remarkably it has taken just 20 games for Rockliff to force his way into the leadership group.

"I would expect him to have a fairly prominent role in our future," Lions coach Michael Voss said.

Ahead of only his third season, Rockliff added: "It came as a bit of a shock, it is something you always strive to do.

"It's still an education for me. I am still finding my feet and my perfect role in the team."

Voss said players and coaching staff voted in the new leaders using five key criteria - "game impact" topping the list.

Drummond, 27, still made the group despite a spate of injuries limiting him to 72 games since his 2005 AFL debut.

A serious knee injury restricted him to just seven 2010 matches.

And he will miss the start of 2011 due to a quad complaint.

"I am working my butt off to improve and I am confident once I get out there in a couple of weeks I will be good to go - I am confident I will be out there for a big chunk this year," Drummond said.

Coming off a woeful 2010 in which they finished 13th, the Lions begin their season against Fremantle at the Gabba on Saturday night.

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