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Player Reviews: Mathieson, Allison, Lyons and Hammelmann

Player Review: Mathieson, Allison, Lyons & Hammelmann Rhys Mathieson continued his good form from last season, Jacob Allison finished off the season well in the seniors while Corey Lyons and Matt Hammelmann where instrumental in the NEAFL Premiership winning season.

#36 Rhys Mathieson 

Fan favourite Rhys Mathieson played 13 Senior matches in 2017 and thrilled the Lions faithful with his trademark goal celebrations and attack on the ball.

Mathieson spent the first couple of months of the season recovering from an ankle injury sustained in pre-season training before returning to action in the NEAFL.

After four matches in the NEAFL building form, Mathieson made his first Senior appearance for the year in Round 10 against Collingwood at the MCG.

The 20-year-olds best match of the season came in Round 14 against the GWS GIANTS, when he was forced to take on more responsibility in the midfield after Dayne Beams left the game early with a shoulder injury. 

Mathieson grabbed a career-high 32 disposals against the GIANTS’ star-studded midfield and produced six tackles.

In his 13 Senior matches, Mathieson averaged 18.2 disposals and just under four tackles per match.

Senior matches: 13, NEAFL matches: 4 

#37 Jacob Allison

Drafted to the Lions at Pick No. 55 last year, Jacob Allison joined the likes of Harris Andrews, Liam Dawson and Ben Keays as a graduate from the Club’s Academy to Senior list. 

The athletic and versatile midfielder made his debut in Round 19 against West Coast where he showed plenty of promise by collecting 20 touches and five marks. Allison’s first game proved to be a valuable learning experience for the young lion who continued to find his feet during the final four games of the season.

In his five Senior games, Allison averaged 17.6 disposals, 5.4 marks and two tackles. 

The 19-year-old played a crucial role in the NEAFL Grand Final match, kicking two goals within two minutes following halftime, which provided crucial as the Lions eventually prevailed by just a few points. 

Senior matches: 5, NEAFL matches: 14 

#39 Corey Lyons

After being taken with the Lions' final pick of the 2016 draft, Corey Lyons showed plenty of development in the NEAFL in 2017 and was on the cusp of making his Senior debut on a couple of occasions.

Comfortable in defence or in the midfield, Lyons played in 19 NEAFL matches and averaged 20 disposals per game while also kicking 13 goals for the season. 

The Sandringham Dragons product was excellent in the Lions NEAFL side's grand final victory over the Swans, gaining valuable big-game experience early on his career. 

Possessing excellent skills and a huge work rate, Lyons will be hoping for a huge pre-season to increase his chances of Senior selection in 2018. 

Senior matches: 0, NEAFL matches: 19 

#40 Matthew Hammelmann  

Tall forward Matthew Hammelmann was the Lions' NEAFL side's leading goalkicker this season, booting 41 goals in 16 matches. 

With strong hands in front, on the lead and overhead, Hammelmann averaged 6.7 marks per NEAFL game, while collecting an average of 12.5 disposals. 

Hammelmann’s most memorable game came during the Round 7 NEAFL clash against Redland Bombers. Showcasing big pack marks and penetrating kicks, the big man came to life in the third quarter kicking 2.1 in the space of three minutes. By the end of the game Hammelmann had booted a whopping five goals.

It was this stellar performance that saw him elevated from the Lions’ Rookie list to the Club’s Senior list ahead of the following week’s match.

Hammelmann went on to play three Senior matches for the year, and kicked his first AFL goal against Adelaide in Round 9. 

Unfortunately for Hammelmann, he was sidelined for the NEAFL Grand Final after suffering a hamstring injury in the lead-up.

Senior matches: 3, NEAFL matches: 16

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