Aker still on the nose at the Lions - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Aker still on the nose at the Lions

By Laine Clark 08/06/2007 07:20:02 PM Comments (0)

As Jason Akermanis soaked up the "familiar smell" of his former homeground the Gabba, it was clear the controversial onballer was still on the nose at his ex-club the Brisbane Lions.

A sentimental Akermanis only had good things to say about his old stomping ground when he arrived at the Gabba ahead of the rest of his new club Western Bulldogs for training on Friday night.

But the same couldn't be said about Lions veteran Chris Scott's assessment of his former teammate ahead of the much-hyped AFL clash on Saturday night.

Akermanis flew in a day earlier than the Bulldogs and cut a lonely figure as he jogged around the Brisbane venue by himself after the rest of his team's Gabba arrival was delayed for almost an hour by peak hour traffic.

However, Scott certainly had no sympathy for the former Brownlow Medalist.

In an extraordinary outburst, the senior Lion - who is indefinitely sidelined with a hip injury - called for the Gabba crowd to give Akermanis a "hostile reception" and predicted Brisbane would try to "beat him".

The lead-up to the match had initially resembled a love-in, with neither side giving away too much.

That trend seemed to continue after Akermanis clearly relished the time by himself at the Gabba.

After a run and stretch on the familiar turf, Akermanis did a quick swoop of the waiting TV cameras before leaving the field - via the visiting team player race, of course.

Asked what he thought of his "homecoming", Akermanis said: "It's a familiar smell...like a repressed memory.

"It's great to be back, like going home.

"It's a good feeling (but) 12 years (in Brisbane) will do that to you."

Asked what kind of reception he expected, Akermanis said: "We will have to wait and see. My mates have been speculating but I really don't know."

But Scott made it abundantly clear what Akermanis could expect.

"I don't think anyone in Brisbane should be feeling sorry for Aker - I think he should get the hostile reception that he deserves," a seething Scott told Channel Ten.

"I don't think there is any doubt that he can expect something.

"Aker made the decision through his actions last year that he could no longer be a part of this club and I think some of the boys still feel very let down by the way he behaved.

"If they have an opportunity to let him know that I am sure they will."

Scott even predicted a physical reminder for Akermanis, who was traded to the Dogs last year after falling out with Lions coach Leigh Matthews and the senior playing group.

"He courts controversy, and he is probably going to do that for the rest of his career to the best of his ability," Scott said.

"From our perspective, we are there to play as hard as we can and beat the Bulldogs and if we get a chance to beat him we will do that to."

There was no such animosity facing Akermanis when he made an uncharacteristically low key arrival in Brisbane.

Instead of copping flak, a genuinely surprised Akermanis only received requests for autographs and photos at the Brisbane terminal.

A sprinkling of Bulldogs fans swamped Akermanis again before he ran out for a quick familiarisation of the Gabba.

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