Qld derby is personal: Voss - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Qld derby is personal: Voss

By Laine Clark 06/05/2011 06:10:02 PM Comments (0)

Comments from "out of line" Gold Coast coach Guy McKenna may have been taken personally by Michael Voss ahead of the first Queensland AFL derby.

But the seething Brisbane Lions mentor warned his players not to make it personal when they ran out at the Gabba on Saturday night as simmering tensions between the clubs threatened to boil over.

Voss on Friday looked ropeable when reminded of McKenna's mid-week claim that the Suns were put on the Gold Coast to clean up the mess left by the Brisbane Bears - the Lions coach's former team.

He said instead of criticising the "bad news Bears", McKenna should be thanking them for paving the way for AFL on the tourist strip.

"You don't like people having a crack at your origins," said Voss, who began his glittering playing career at the Bears in 1992.

"I thought a thanks would be a more appropriate response."

Asked if McKenna was out of line, an unhappy Voss replied: "Yeah, probably."

Indeed McKenna may live to regret the comment after also copping scathing criticism from former Bears coach Robert Walls.

"That's such a stupid, ill-informed, ungrateful and disrespectful thing to say," Walls wrote in his Fairfax column on Friday.

Walls said McKenna should apologise after taking "pot-shots at those who did the hard yards before him" from the comfort of the cashed-up Suns.

"They (Bears) deserve respect for the blood, sweat and tears they shed at Carrara, not cheap put-downs," he wrote.

While riled by McKenna, Voss did not want his troops to fall into the same trap on Saturday night.

"It is personal when you have your home turf invaded," Voss said of the Gabba clash which will be a Suns "home" game.

"It might be personal but it is important that you don't treat it like that, (that) you don't do silly things.

"The aggression is going to be at the ball - you can't be distracted by everything else."

The Lions have been no shrinking violets this week, either.

Midfielder Simon Black called ex-teammates Jared Brennan and Michael Rischitelli "mercenaries" for taking up lucrative Suns contracts.

And injured Lions captain Jonathan Brown claimed in his News Limited column on Friday that Brennan held the club to ransom with a "trade me or I'll walk and you'll get no compensation" ultimatum last year.

But Voss said he could understand Black and Brown's comments.

"It highlights how hurt the players are by it (their Suns defection) - especially when we were doing it a bit tough last year," Voss said.

"I was never quite sure what it (defection) meant to the (Lions) players but I guess I do now."

However, Suns football manager - and Voss' former Lions teammate - Marcus Ashcroft thought Brown's comments were unfair.

"We'd like to think we're a destination of choice and Jared, for whatever reason, wanted to come down to the Gold Coast and to his credit has played some really good footy," he said on Friday.

Voss couldn't wait for the first Queensland derby - especially with his Lions (0-5) tipped to break their 2011 winning drought against the Suns (1-4).

"It (derby) is something I have admired from afar for a long period of time, like the (SA) showdowns and the (WA) derbies," he said.

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