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Player Reviews: Skinner, Paparone, Schache and Dawson

Player Review: Skinner, Paparone, Schache & Dawson Highlights from Skinner, Paparone, Schache and Dawson's seasons.

Sam Skinner

Sam Skinner experienced the highs and lows of professional sport in 2017. 

After a lengthy layoff following an ACL tear, Skinner made his return for the Lions in the NEAFL in late May.

Playing mostly in defence, Skinner immediately made an impact with his attack on the ball and skills in the air.  

The opportunity finally came for Skinner to make his Senior debut in Round 19 against the West Coast Eagles, exactly a year on from when injury cruelled him of making his debut against Port Adelaide in 2016.  

Thurst into the forward line in the absence of Eric Hipwood, Skinner acquainted himself well against the Eagles, kicking two goals and producing a couple of monster tackles. 

The performance wasn't enough to see Skinner keep his spot in the Senior side, and he returned to the NEAFL side where he unfortunately tore his ACL again in an awkward tackle against the GWS GIANTS in August. 

Skinner re-signed with the Lions until the end of 2019 midway through the year. He has undergone surgery on his knee and has begun rehab.  

Senior matches: 1, NEAFL matches: 10

Marco Paparone

Rebounding defender Marco Paparone was restricted by injury again in 2017, playing just six Senior matches. 

After a 2016 season ruined by a persistent hamstring injury, Paparone returned to the field via the NEAFL and turned in several strong performances which saw him picked in the Senior side for Round 7 against the Sydney Swans.

In his 50th Senior match, and first in 11 months, Paparone grabbed 28 disposals against the Swans and created plenty of attacking chances with his run out of defence. 

After five more Senior matches, Paparone was moved back to the NEAFL where he was a vital member of the Lions 10-match winning streak.

Unfortunately, the return of a niggling hamstring injury brought about an early end to Paparone's season.

Senior matches: 6, NEAFL matches: 9 

Josh Schache

Josh Schache was the subject of considerable media interest in 2017, and almost all of the attention was surrounding his contract with the Lions. 

The 2015 No. 2 draft pick started the season off in the NEAFL before making his first appearance in the Senior side in Round 3 against the Saints. 

With the weight of a contract decision and media attention impacting his play, Schache was granted time off midway through the season to return home to Melbourne.

In a huge boost for the Lions, Schache decided to re-sign with the Lions for two years and returned to action in the NEAFL. 

Schache’s form in the NEAFL warranted a return to the Senior side for Rounds 17-20, where he was able to produce a couple of solid performances, including a two-goal and 13 disposal effort against Richmond in Round 17.

Due to fatigue from the season, Schache missed the NEAFL finals series.

Schache finished the year with nine goals in 10 Senior appearances, and 23 goals in nine NEAFL matches. 

Senior matches: 10, NEAFL matches: 9 

Liam Dawson

Lions Academy graduate Liam Dawson played one Senior match in 2017 and was one of the Lions NEAFL side's best players throughout the year. 

Dawson spent time in numerous positions in the NEAFL, averaging 16 disposals per match and kicking 17 goals in 17 matches.

In his one Senior match against the Western Bulldogs in Round 5, he collected eight disposals and took two marks.

Dawson finished the year with a strong performance in the Lions NEAFL grand final victory. 

Senior matches: 1, NEAFL matches: 17

View previous Player Reviews:

Player Reviews: Keays, Christensen, Bastinac and Robinson

Player Reviews: McCluggage, Bell and Bewick

Player Review: Harris Andrews

Player Review: Eric Hipwood 

Player Reviews: Hanley, Berry, Walker

Player Review: Dayne Zorko 

Player Review: Dayne Beams

Player Reviews: Beam, Robertson, Cox

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs