Lions boss' tact called over Suns taunt - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lions boss' tact called over Suns taunt

Laine Clark 22/03/2011 05:13:52 PM Comments (0)

One of Brisbane's favourite sons has questioned Lions' chairman Angus Johnson's decision to taunt the Gold Coast at a function boasting two Suns employees as guests of honour.

Now a Gold Coast assistant coach, Shaun Hart attended last Friday's Lions season launch as a member of the 2001 premiership team being honoured at the club dinner.

Also present was ex-Brisbane team-mate Marcus Ashcroft - the Lions record holder for games played, now the Suns football manager.

After Hart and Ashcroft took their seats centrestage at the black tie dinner, Johnson used his address to urge the Lions to "kick them (Suns) into the Pacific where they belong".

Hart believed there could have been a "better platform" for Johnson to stoke up the AFL's newest rivalry.

"It was an interesting comment," Hart told AAP on Tuesday.

"I know they are trying to build some momentum and spirit toward the new year and that's what Angus chose to put out there.

"But given that it was in the company of people involved in the club and we were there to celebrate a reunion, there was probably a better platform for it.

"Maybe there should be a bit of consideration to that.

"Maybe it indicated that the night needed to be separated into the launch and the reunion."

Hart said Johnson's comment would only build momentum towards the Suns' historic first derby clash with the Lions in round seven.

"I don't get offended and I don't think Marcus does," he said of Johnson's call.

"It just breeds it (the rivalry).

"It will be massive, enormous, coming into that round seven game.

"It will be unbelievable for AFL football in Queensland.

"The rivalry will be significant - I don't think we can understate it.

"The first five or 10 minutes of that game will be very, very heated and competitive."

But Hart said he held no ill-feeling toward his former club.

Indeed, he saw parallels with the 2001 team and the current crop and hoped the reunion dinner would inspire the rebuilding Lions.

Brisbane are still reeling from a disastrous 2010 in which they finished 13th.

"There will always be a place in my heart for the Lions," Hart said.

"I hope the night inspired the young guys because the fabric of Brisbane last year was really challenged in terms of the culture and they are trying to rebuild that.

"If the guys can get something out of what we achieved, that's great.

"Yes in 2001 it was a very good team but we had to shift some attitudes as well and some focus onto the team.

"I think if Brisbane players do that then they might have a chance to climb up where they need to get to this year."

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