Brown won’t envy coach on Black AFL talks
Talks might not have officially started but Brisbane Lions captain Jonathan Brown won’t envy coach Michael Voss when he assesses club great Simon Black’s AFL future.
Black, 33, has an option for one more season when his contract expires at the end of 2012 and Voss hinted this week he wanted the veteran to play on, possibly in the substitute role.
However, Brown did not want to trade places with Voss when he assessed Black’s options – especially after the fallout over the handling of fellow veteran Luke Power.
The triple premiership-winning midfielder retired at the end of last season after Voss could not guarantee him a game for 2012.
But Power later re-emerged at Greater Western Sydney as a player-coach.
“The same happens if you have been a great player or a mediocre player … when you are given advice that your footy career might be coming to an end,” Brown said.
“It’s hard for Vossy because he has been our captain and is a great mate of ours.
“But he has got a job to do for the footy club and he has to be honest as a coach to us players about how we are going with our performance.”
Brown wanted Black to play on in 2013, all but ensuring the Brownlow Medallist would overtake Marcus Ashcroft’s games record of 318.
“It will be just how he feels mentally and physically at the end of the season and weigh it up,” Brown said of Black, who has played 308 games to date.
“But I would be pretty sure Vossy would be keen for him to go around again as do all of us boys as well.”
However, Brown was more concerned with how his side finished the season ahead of Sunday’s tough away clash with West Coast.
The 13th-placed Lions are two wins outside the eight with six matches left in the year.
But a brutally-honest Brown said improvement – not finals – was their goal.
At 7-9, the Lions have almost doubled their 2011 winning tally of four.
But Brown believed they would get a true gauge of their form lining up against a hungry Eagles side seven weeks after their upset two-point Gabba win over West Coast.
“We probably have to win every game to make the finals, to be honest, so we are not even thinking about that,” he said.
“It is important in the last six weeks that we finish strongly, not with a whimper, because I think that affects how you go into the next season.
“We were lucky to get a win (last round against Gold Coast). We want to get over there and make amends.”© AAP 2013