Rich en­cour­aged as Lions hold on to key pick

The Weekend Australian - - SPORT - AAP

Daniel Rich ad­mits it’s nice to be talking about re­ten­tions rather than de­par­tures, but warned it would be fool­ish to get swept up in Bris­bane Lions’ fresh wave of op­ti­mism.

A Ris­ing Star win­ner in his de­but sea­son eight years ago, Rich has hung tough while the Lions have strug­gled to be com­pet­i­tive.

But he said the con­tract ex­ten­sions of highly-rated mid­fielder Hugh McClug­gage and No 1 draft pick Cameron Rayner, who is yet to play a game, mean he doesn’t need to dwell on the dis­ap­point­ment any longer.

“In years gone by there’s ob­vi­ously been a bit spo­ken about the club and cul­ture of guys com- ing and go­ing at a young age,” Rich said. “That’s a per­fect ex­am­ple of where the club’s head­ing, that’s just as im­por­tant (as the wins and losses per­cent­age) in the pro­gres­sion.

The Lions had just five wins on their way to the wooden spoon last sea­son, their first cam­paign un­der coach Chris Fa­gan.

Bris­bane had be­come an un­de­sir­able lo­ca­tion for promis­ing tal­ent, with the likes of Sam Docherty, James Aish and El­liot Yeo com­ing and go­ing in re­cent years. While Josh Schache and Tom Rock­liff have both de­parted since a Sher­rin was last kicked at the Gabba, the club be­lieve their losses have been offset by the ar­rival of Rayner, as well as Char­lie Cameron and Luke Hodge.

Con­tract ex­ten­sions for Eric Hip­wood, Jar­rod Berry, Har­ris An­drews, Ben Keays and most re­cently McClug­gage have Rich think­ing the worm has turned.

“Oh yeah, that’s in the past now,” Rich said of the dis­ap­point­ment of see­ing good tal­ent de­part.

“The good thing is we can talk about things the other way now; he’s (Rayner) ob­vi­ously one this sea­son but there’s been a lot over the last 18 months so let’s talk about that.”

While Rich says the club is well pro­gressed from where it was this time last year, the 27-year-old knows bet­ter than to start get­ting car­ried away.

“You cel­e­brate what needs cel­e­brat­ing and recog­nise what needs to be recog­nised, but come Jan­uary ev­ery club’s fly­ing when there is no win-loss record,” he said.

Daniel Rich

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.