New role no factor in Lion’s future
ELEVATION to the Brisbane Lions leadership group will have ‘‘ no impact’’ on looming contract talks, an in-demand Mitch Clark says.
The Lions made it clear they had big plans for Clark when adding the 23-year-old West Australian product to their new-look group along with youngster Tom Rockliff and Josh Drummond yesterday.
They join captain Jonathan Brown, Daniel Merrett and Jed Adcock i n t he elite group.
Promotion could help Brisbane in any tug-of-war with WA c l ubs o v e r t he o f f - contract key position player.
B u t C l a r k – a n E a s t Fremantle export – surprisingly hinted that no one should read too much into it.
Clark r emained at t he Lions in 2011 after investigating the possibility of a trade to the west.
‘‘ No, it ( the future) wasn’t discussed at all ( before his promotion),’’ Clark said yesterday.
‘‘ I don’t think you should be picked in a leadership group to try and keep you at a football club – hopefully that is not the case here.’’
Asked if being named in the group would have an impact on future contract talks, Clark said: ‘‘ No impact at all. ‘‘ I am happy at the Lions. ‘‘ I just want to play footy this year, contribute to the team and contract time will take care of itself.’’
F o l l o w i n g B r e n d a n Fevola’s sacking, Clark is more important to the Lions than ever due to his ability to pinch-hit between the forward line and ruck to assist Matthew Leuenberger.
The once injury-plagued Clark has played 65 games since his 2006 AFL debut.
Remarkably it has taken just 20 games for Rockliff to force his way into the leadership group.
‘‘ I would expect him to have a fairly prominent role in our future,’’ Lions coach Michael Voss said of the third-season player.