Attack’s greener in this Lions side
CRUMBER Josh Green is looking forward to having a front-row seat when the Brisbane Lions unveil their new-look attack against the might of West Coast in Perth tomorrow.
Domain Stadium been a wasteland when it comes to scoring for the Lions - they have booted just 16 goals in their past three visits, and failed to pass 50 points in four of their last five.
Suffice to say, it will provide the ultimate test for a forward set-up that sees its 23-year-old 'veteran', Green, joined by prized draft pick Josh Schache, 18, recruits Josh Walker, 23, and Tom Bell, 24, and promising pair Daniel McStay, 20, and Jono Freeman, 21.
"The entire first 10 weeks aren't easy," Green told Australian Regional Media. "But the boys are up and about... we think we can surprise a few people."
Pocket rocket Green (176cm), who, having topped the club tally the last two seasons, now has more goals than any other current Lion (97 in 70 games), will be in the land of the giants.
Alongside third-year Lions Freeman (198cm, 96kg) and McStay (195cm, 92kg), Walker (196cm, 95kg) has arrived from Geelong and the Brisbane-born Bell (187cm, 98kg) from Carlton.
Green says he has been particularly impressed with 199cm Schache, who the Lions have wasted no time in handing a debut.
"I really like Josh Schache, just his attitude. It's his first year ... we're already relying on him a bit, but he's handled it really well," Green said. "He's going to be important for us for the next 12 to 15 years."
As another key forward, Michael Close (196cm, 95kg), recovers from a knee reconstruction, Green added: "We've probably got five or six (key forwards) now, whereas the past few years we've had one or two.
"It's important they keep developing and keep putting weight on in the gym.
"If we can have two or three of them kicking 40, 50 goals over the next few years it's going to bring crowds and help our team in general. It's exciting."
Green had been named on an extended interchange but was expected to line-up against last year's runners-up after recovering from a foot injury which sidelined for much of the summer.
"I didn't see it coming. I was training well... doing all that was expected of me before Christmas, and came back and got a bit of a sharp pain," he recalled.
Among some tinkering with his training regimen - at and away from the club - he's changed boots.
"It's hard to pinpoint what the problem was, but if you can look after your feet, get a bit of a wider shoe that supports that fifth metatarsal," he explained.
While expectations on the Lions won't be high with them possessing the youngest list in the competition, Green says there has been "enthusiasm" and a "vibrant feel" during the pre-season.
"I'm one of the older boys now and it's taken me a while to realise that what I do the younger boys look up to," he said.
"It's important that the guys that have been here five or six years, we start to drag the group up the ladder
"From point of view, the big thing for us to improve from last year (four wins).
"We don't want to set limits on the group, we also don't want to hope too highly for finals
"(But) you never know what could happen, we could come out and do some really exciting things."
The Lions will face an Eagles outfit that welcomes back key defender Eric Mackenzie and named ex-Lion Jack Redden for his first game with the club.
"He's a ripper fella. He just wanted to move on, and that's the way the footy world goes these days," Green said. "But when it comes to Sunday, you put all that aside and become competitors."
CAREER-HIGH GOAL HAULS
Josh Walker 5 v Brisbane, 2015
Tom Bell 4 v St Kilda, 2015
Jono Freeman 4 v Collingwood, 2014
Daniel McStay 4 v Carlton, 2015
Josh Green 4 v Carlton, 2015