Sport

Merrett gets aggressive as Lions prepare for wild season

Daniel Merrett of the Lions marks during the round 21 AFL match between the Brisbane Lions and the Adelaide Crows at The Gabba on August 18, 2012 in Brisbane, Australia.
Daniel Merrett of the Lions marks during the round 21 AFL match between the Brisbane Lions and the Adelaide Crows at The Gabba on August 18, 2012 in Brisbane, Australia. Matt Roberts / Getty Images

THE Brisbane Lions are preparing their cub forwards for the wilds of the AFL and vice-captain Daniel Merrett is loving every minute of it.

Full-back Merrett and fellow defenders Matt Maguire and Joel Patfull have been "narky and aggressive" in training while matching up to young pretenders to play alongside captain Jonathan Brown in the upcoming season.

Merrett said there were a number of players in the race to join Brown in the forward line but said whether it is Jordan Lisle, Aaron Cornelius, Melbourne recruit Stefan Martin or rookies Marco Paparone and Michael Close, the defenders were not ready to give ground, even in training.

"At times it can get narky and aggressive but that's exactly what you want because you want to drive high standards," Merrett said.

"It's only going to make us better.

"Where our group's at, we're developing and breeding that into the young guys to be aggressive, it's perfect.

"We're all over the forwards at the moment."

For most of last season Merrett played alongside veteran Brown as coach Michael Voss struggled to find someone to partner the skipper and take some of the burden of goalkicking off the veteran's shoulders.

He didn't do too badly up forward, either, kicking 26 goals in 17 starts in the forward/ruck role he was given.

But the 28-year-old said his preferred position was full-back and in that role he was able to assess just who was best equipped to take up the forward spot up for grabs.

Voss has even had Irishman Niall McKeever in the forward 50 as he searches for the answer to the goalkicking problem which has blighted the team for the past couple of seasons.

However, Merrett said it was a Lion in his second year who was standing out in pre-season.

"Probably Jordy Lisle at this stage," he said when asked who would be his choice to play forward at this stage.

"He's really stepped up, definitely matured, talking a lot more and he's improved his fitness.

"From my point of view, at this stage he's up there.

"Also Stef Martin.

"We've got him across for that reason, to try and fill that void, so we'll be looking for Stef to step up.

"It's all about options, that's where the game's headed.

"So plenty of competition and plenty of options.

"That spot will be up for grabs all year I reckon."

Topics:  afl, aussie rules, brisbane lions, training



WATCH: Police release CCTV footage of Goodna robbery

An armed robbery took place at the IGA in Goodna at 6am this morning (27-9-16).

Masked men armed with large hammer hold up store

FINALS CHAT: The AT80 team talk NRL and Bears vs Cutters

FINALS CHAT: Manager of rugby league Ipswich Brendon Lindsay joins co-host Anthony 'Bomber' Breeze, host Ben Wilmott and special guest Colin Scott this week on After the 80.

Grand final spotlight should be on NRL heroics

Police remember fallen colleagues

Police Remembrance Day march to Brown's Park in North Ipswich on Thursday.

Police remember falen colleagues

Local Partners

Kim Kardashian West wants restraining order against prankster

She was attacked by Vitalii Sediuk for the second time in two years

Cliff Richard to release 101st album

Sir Cliff Richard's album cover

Sir Cliff Richard is to release his 101st album

CMC Rocks faces fan backlash over date change, headliners

The 10th annual CMC Rocks festival will be headlined by The Dixie Chicks.

FANS are not happy about festival being pushed back by two weeks.

Kim Kardashian West attacked by man trying to kiss her bottom

Vitalii Sediuk targeted Gigi Hadid last week

Madonna poses naked in solidarity with Katy Perry

Madonna posted her own nude selfie on Instagram

$40million hotel, shops development project for Mackay

Mt Pleasant hotel and retirement accommodation, proposed at 194-202 Malcomson St.

$40m development to take Mackay to 'the next level'

Housing report points to a lift in local market

AFFORDABLE HOMES: First home buyers have the opportunity to purchase modern new homes in the Ipswich region for under $400,000.

Region shaping up as the "final frontier” for affordable housing

Five ways to slash household bills and save the environment

THINK GREEN: Considering the environment when building or buying your next home can save you big dollars. The Village Building Company, who is responsible for Woodlinks Village at Collingwood Park, builds homes with this front of mind.

THERE is nothing as sweet as slashing dollars from your bills.

Investors out-bid first-home buyers in booming market

Housing generic.

Ipswich's housing market is putting more cash into sellers’ pockets

Another Ripley development

THE ENTRANCE: An overview of the last planned development for the fast growing Ripley area.

85 more home lots released