Lions focused on avoiding AFL spoon: Black - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lions focused on avoiding AFL spoon: Black

Laine Clark 30/06/2011 06:37:59 PM Comments (0)

Avoiding the wooden spoon - rather than vying for the AFL finals - is officially now the Brisbane Lions' main goal, Simon Black admits.

But the veteran insists he is loving his footy as much as ever.

Amid yet another horror Lions season, there have been calls this week for the AFL club to clear the player decks in preparation for a long-term crack at a flag.

Black and captain Jonathan Brown have earned the right to end their career on their own terms.

However, the likes of fellow old-timers Aamon Buchanan, Matt Maguire and perennially-injured ruckman Jamie Charman have been called out by some as the Lions look to rebuild - especially after Charman suffered another setback to his recovery from an "indefinite" achilles injury.

But Black claims he still has the passion - and the Lions have the young talent - to kick-start a recovery ahead of Sunday's cellar-dweller clash with Port Adelaide at the Gabba.

"I still love my footy as much as I always have," Black said on Thursday.

"You obviously enjoy it more when you are winning more, so it is a challenge.

"But I am enjoying playing with the young guys - hopefully, we set them on the path for future success sooner rather than later."

Black is the first to concede their main goal ahead of the Port clash is kicking clear of last place on the AFL ladder.

The Lions (2-11 record) are third last, ahead of Port (2-11) and Gold Coast Suns (2-10), with Brisbane's new arch-rival having a game in hand.

"We are playing Port who are towards the bottom of the ladder where we are," Black said on Thursday.

"Both sides obviously haven't had a great year.

"Four points are hard to pick up and very much sought after by both teams."

Asked about the wooden spoon, Black said: "It is a good opportunity to get away from them (Port) a bit for a week - we will be very hungry for the win."

Easier said than done, after the Lions were left reeling from their latest injury blow.

Young gun Daniel Rich will miss his first senior match since making his debut in 2009 after being diagnosed with a foot stress reaction.

The young midfielder - who had played 59 consecutive matches - could be out for up to six weeks.

"It is a big blow. He is one of our good, long-term players for the club - hopefully, he is back sooner rather than later," Black said.

Rich joins an injury list which includes the likes of vice-captains Mitch Clark (ankle), Daniel Merrett (back) and Josh Drummond (knee), as well as Todd Banfield (hamstring).

In another blow, 28-year-old premiership ruckman Charman - who has not played since round three in 2009 due to various injuries - suffered a setback in his recovery from an achilles complaint.

However, the Lions received some good news with Jed Adcock (finger) and Brent Staker available for action just 14 weeks after LARS knee surgery.

Vice-captain Adcock was named in a 25-strong Lions squad on Thursday, coming in for Rich who was officially ruled out for "two to three weeks".

The squad will be trimmed to 22 on Friday.

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