Brown is irreplaceable for Lions - Scott - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Brown is irreplaceable for Lions - Scott

By Robert Grant 21/07/2011 07:59:32 PM Comments (0)

North Melbourne coach Brad Scott has mixed feelings about the absence of Jonathan Brown from Brisbane's line-up for Saturday's AFL clash at Etihad Stadium.

Brown will miss the remainder of the season after undergoing surgery following a sickening head clash in last Sunday's loss to Geelong.

It was the second serious blow to the head Brown has suffered this season and the latest injury has left Scott both worried and relieved.

Scott said that, as a personal friend and two-time premiership teammate of Brown, he was "shattered" when the Lions captain was injured again - but as coach of the Kangaroos he is glad Brown will not be playing.

"He's obviously a massive loss," Scott said on Thursday.

"I can't lie. I'm happier he's not there, that's for sure. As a personal friend of mine, I'm shattered that he's hurt himself again, but it certainly gives us a bit of a boost."

While describing Brown as "irreplaceable" Scott said the club would be wary of his replacement, with young marking forward Aaron Cornelius getting the call-up.

"There's no other player like Jonathan Brown so they'll miss him, but I'm sure others will be coming in really keen for that opportunity so we're really going to have to be on our guard," Scott said.

Scott said ruckman Hamish McIntosh would need to play at least another game in the VFL to improve his fitness before being eligible for a recall to the senior side.

"We're more mindful than ever of the gap between VFL and AFL footy," Scott said. "The gulf is enormous. He needs to really demand a spot in the side.

"Every player that's come up from the VFL to AFL level has struggled this year for fitness. So Hamish is going to need a really good grounding in the VFL before we consider him for selection."

Young key position player Robbie Tarrant was one of two inclusions for the Kangaroos along with Cameron Richardson.

"We haven't helped (Tarrant) in terms of continuity of football because we've thrown him forward and back quite a bit, much like we've done with Lachie Hansen and Cam Pedersen at senior level," he said.

"I'm really determined to develop a range of key-position players that can play at both ends of the ground for the club in the future.

"Robbie's been part of that and I'm comfortable with his development."

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