Lions ready for first hitout

THE BRISBANE Lions look set to begin their NAB Cup campaign on Saturday night, following a sharp pre-season with most of the list fit and firing.

The Lions will take on Melbourne and the Gold Coast Suns in the triangular series, in what is expected to be a fierce contest that will see Mitch Clark take on his former teammates for the first time.

Brisbane conducted a 90 minute training session this morning, which consisted of plenty of ball work has they gear up for their first official hitout for 2012.

Fitness coach Brett Burton took the Lions through their paces this morning, before a mini-scratch match was introduced.

This morning’s hitout had a clear emphasis on skill precision and execution, as well as hitting targets up front, things that were missing last year.

The players then broke into groups – forwards, backs and mids – with their line coaches and focused on one-on-one contests and specific drills as coach Michael Voss kept a keen eye on his charges.

Hawthorn recruit Jordan Lisle trained with the forwards, indicating that he will fill the role vacated by Mitch Clark.

Lisle was joined by South Australian midfielder Jared Polec, who looks set for a role across half-forward, after injury interrupted his first season at AFL level.

Competition for spots in the Brisbane front half is expected to be fierce this season following last year’s progression of young talls Aaron Cornelius, Bryce Retzlaff and Patrick Karnezis in the absence of skipper Jonathan Brown.

Brown trained away from the main group for the majority of the session, focusing on goalkicking, body wark and leading from a starting position with Brett Burton, as assistants Mark Harvey and Gary O’Donnell took charge.

The Lions’ skipper is a leaner and fitter version than that of 2011, and has clearly benefited from a recent two week training camp in Arizona with teammates Tom Rockliff, Jed Adcock and Simon Black.

Coach Michael Voss is keen to follow in the footsteps of Collingwood and more recently, the Gold Coast Suns, in taking his players for a full high-altitude training camp in Arizona given it’s well documented successes, and it could come as soon as next pre-season.

Others to train separately from the main group included midfielder Daniel Rich and Sam Sheldon, son of Carlton premiership player and St Kilda coach Ken.

Both were later joined by ruckman Matthew Leuenberger.


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