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From Graduation to Pre-season

1:32pm  Oct 23, 2017

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Player Reviews: No. 36 - 40

September 28, 2016 8:45 AM

AFL 2016 Rd 23 - St Kilda v Brisbane

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 28: Tom Rockliff of the Lions celebrates after kicking a goal during the round 23 AFL match between the St Kilda Saints and the Brisbane Lions at Etihad Stadium on August 28, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images/AFL Media)

It's time for the next part of our 2016 Player Review series.

Today we're looking at players with guernsey numbers 36-40.

36 – Rhys Mathieson

Known to teammates and the Brisbane Lions faithful as “Beast Mode”, Rhys Mathieson quickly made a name for himself at the Club after being drafted with pick #39 in the 2015 National Draft. His penchant for loving the contested ball was evident to see in just his first AFL game in round nine against Melbourne, as he won a game high six free kicks as reward for his aggressive attack on the ball. The 185cm midfielder averaged 18.2 disposals a game in 2016 – 9th highest on the team – and found consistency toward the end of the year, playing in the final eight games of the season.

Coach’s notes

‘The Beast’ played 11 games in his debut season, kicked 8 goals for the year, and showed by taking it up to Joel Selwood in the Geelong game that he is going to be a good contested ball player for us. He’s shown the ability to win his own contest and spreads hard both ways really well. He’s been a steal for us at pick 39 and again another one who can get a big pre-season into him for 2017 should have a big impact for us at this footy club in the midfield.

37 – Cian Hanley

The young Irishman was unable to display the pace and agility both he and his brother Pearce are known for as he continues to rehabilitate from an unfortunate run of injuries. Upon being recruited as an International Rookie in 2014, Hanley was lauded for his work ethic and leadership abilities and has applied himself as such to his rehabilitation as he aims to make his AFL debut in 2017.

Coach’s notes

Cian was in rehab throughout the year, unfortunately his body has had some challenges in adjusting to the rigours of the AFL system. He hasn’t played a game for us yet, but we’re hoping that after two years of solid rehab and building his resilience up that he’ll be able to play some game time next year in 2017.

38 – Tom Rockliff

While nagging injuries to both his hamstring and calf forced Lions captain Tom Rockliff to miss time, the skipper was at his prolific best for his 17 games in 2016. Rockliff averaged 29.8 disposals this season - his second highest output behind his stellar 2014 campaign – including a career high 48 touches in an individual performance for the ages against Carlton in Round 11. The ever-present midfielder racked up more than 30 disposals on 10 different occasions in 2016, and also proved to be a difference maker on the scoreboard, kicking 15 goals to just three behinds in his best return since kicking 18 in 2012. Rockliff will take his strong form into the pre-season and will look to play upwards of 20 games next season for the first time since 2013.

Coach’s notes

Played 17 games and finished fifth in the B&F. He had some hamstring injuries early in the season but his last 10 games were outstanding, as he averaged about 32 possessions and 9 clearances in that time. He also impacted the scoreboard, finishing with 15 goals. Once we get both him and (Dayne) Beams back into the midfield, the unit will become better straight away. So hopefully Tommy can have another solid preseason, get his hamstrings right and have a massive 2017 season.

Rockliff's year
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39- Jackson Paine

Paine once again succumbed to injuries that have seemingly plagued his career and seen him unable to hit full stride in his time with the Lions. The versatile utility was originally recruited as a forward but found his niche as a defender and his solid form down back as the Lions NEAFL captain saw him elevated to the senior list in the middle of 2016. Paine played three games and averaged 10.3 disposals from Rounds 9-11 but managed only the one game the rest of the year before being delisted at season’s end.

Coach’s notes

Jackson was able to play a few games at AFL level, and handled himself quite nicely when matched up on opposition key forwards. Again was the skipper of the NEAFL when he went back there and displayed great leadership and support for our younger defenders.

40 – Matthew Hammelmann

A Brisbane Lions Hyundai Help for Kids Lions Academy product, Hammelmann made his debut against Richmond in Round 14 and displayed his potential as yet another addition to the exciting brigade of young Lions big men. Standing at 197cm tall, the Morningside product proved himself in defence, playing against far more experienced opponents. He displayed strong hands while averaging 7.3 disposals a game.

Coach’s notes

Matty Hammellman started off the season as a rookie and was able to come in and play nine AFL games. In that time showed that he can handle the rigours of senior footy, and managed to display his closing speed and pace against the bigger and better opponents within the AFL. Another one who just needs to keep working hard, get bigger, stronger and fitter and if he can do that he can have a big impact in season 2017.

More Player Reviews

  Numbers 1 - 5

  Numbers 6 - 10

  Numbers 11 - 15

  Numbers 16 - 20

  Numbers 21 - 25

  Numbers 26 - 30

  Numbers 31 - 35