Lions midfield must step up: Voss

Written By Unknown on Senin, 25 Maret 2013 | 12.50

FOLLOWING in Michael Voss' footsteps may be daunting for a Brisbane Lions midfielder.

But Lions captain-turned-coach Voss says there are "no excuses" for his midfield group any more and has demanded they have career-best AFL seasons in 2013.

Voss has finally stamped his brand of football on the Lions ahead of his fifth season at the helm, as evidenced in their NAB Cup triumph.

Now it seems the three-time premiership winner wants the Lions to start producing his brand of success.

Not usually one to name names, Voss pinpointed Patrick Karnezis, Josh Green, Mitch Golby, Claye Beams, Elliot Yeo and Billy Longer as members of his young group who had to step up.

"We need players to come in and have career-best seasons," he said ahead of Saturday's season opener against Western Bulldogs at Etihad Stadium.

"Not so much someone like Jonathan Brown but from our midfield group.

"There are no more excuses for them.

"It is an area that we need to improve in our game. It is something that hasn't been a strength of ours for the last two years.

"We have had NAB Cup success but now you have to do it under some serious heat."

Voss was flattered that the current Lions model had earned comparisons with his own uncompromising playing style.

"I will take that as a compliment," he said.

"If that's the way it has been spoken about then good.

"Every year we talk about the intensity in which we want to play.

"For us to be able to be competitive there has to be an element of brutality about it."

But Voss said he would not have an accurate gauge on his side's progress until round five despite their pre-season success.

"The NAB Cup has no correlation with the season and it would be dangerous to think otherwise," he said.

"We understand the importance of the first month of the season.

"We have come into the season in a healthy state but it guarantees us nothing."

Voss said ruckman Matthew Leuenberger (achilles) was a "50-50" chance of playing this weekend while Brownlow Medallist Simon Black (knee) might miss up to the first four rounds, as expected.

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