Jonathan Brown has been welcomed back by the Brisbane Lions for his first official hit-out of the season – Saturday’s AFL practice match against Lance Franklin’s Sydney at Burpengary north of Brisbane.
He was dubbed Vlad by Kevin Sheedy. The benevolent dictator by Jeff Kennett. And plenty worse at times by fans convinced they had been done over by the all-powerful AFL.
After Buddy Franklin’s shock move to Sydney was confirmed last October, Swans captain Adam Goodes challenged him to adopt the club’s renowned ‘Bloods’ culture, and he has responded in kind.
In other years, AFL boss Andrew Demetriou laughing uncontrollably on national television at news of a player setting fire to a dwarf’s clothes might have been considered the clear season low point.
Gold Coast fans have been biding their time for the past few seasons but many will be expecting a ladder improvement in 2014 as their golden draft players start to develop into elite athletes.
After falling so agonizingly short of a first ever premiership for the club in 2013, beaten grand finalists the Fremantle Dockers will once again be right in the mix come September time.
Essendon made headlines in 2013 for all the wrong reasons. With the ASADA investigation hopefully behind them the Bombers will be keen to get back on the footy field and let that make the headlines for them instead.