If you’ve been on the site the last couple of days you’ll know that Brods has done a sterling job of analysing this team: The Brisbane Lions. Today he delivers the goods with the Ruck division.
Matthew Leuenberger –$301100, 3, 70.33 – ‘The Lot’ is going to be in a few supercoach sides this season and with so many factors working in his favour it’s not hard to see why. He will start at a bargain basement price which frees up cash for the twin towers from West Coast and was ready to return at the latter stages of 2012 so fitness shouldn’t be an issue and is generally rested up forward much in the mould of Dean Cox. Was on a streak of 11 straight tons until injury cruelled him in round 3 against Freo… did I mention he’s still only 301K? Get on him…
Stefan Martin (FWD) – $377,700, 7, 78.40 – Provided excellent value as a dual position player in 2011 as Melbourne’s first choice ruckman. Still hit the ton on two occasions after returning to the side in 2012 but a hip injury cut his momentum short and sat out the remainder of the season with an average of 78. With Ben Hudson leaving it opens the door for a role as the pinch hitting ruckman/forward even with Daniel Merrett trialled in the role with some success last year. May well push the likes of Lisle, Cornelius and Merrett out of the forward line which would complete a new look ruck line up for the Lions. Handy DPP status and may prove to be a decent pick up if the Cox/Naitinui combo is too pricey for some. Watch list seems to be the logical destination until his role has been defined within his new side.
Billy Longer – $280,300, 5, 58.20 – Looks to be another development year for Longer as the long term injury to Leuenberger opened the door for a few cameos in 2012. Certainly didn’t score poorly in that time though averaging 58 from 5 appearances which included 85 on debut in a trial by fire against 211. Didn’t return to the senior side after round 9 and did suffer a minor knee injury in a heavy clash in the NEAFL that was enough for club officials to give him the cotton wool treatment. Did dominate in the ruck in the reserves grand final successes however when he did return. Has the intangibles to be a major player in the Lion’s future but it’s still early days and will be interested to catch his progress when the NAB cup rolls around.
Keep an Eye On:
Sam Michael – $115,900 (Rookie Listed) – I was impressed with his work in the few reserves games I caught online in last year’s NEAFL finals. Clunked some quality overhead grabs and kicked some vital goals against the NT Thunder in the semis and was named BOG in the inter conference championship game. I can only surmise that there are quite a few ahead of him in the queue for a key forward post at the Lions currently so opportunities will be few and far between for the rookie-listed player. Have a look at him in the NAB cup and if form persists we may see Michael on the national stage before season’s end. I’d back him to earn a spot on the senior list in 2014. We’ll have another look at him then.
……Tomorrow, The Forwards.
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