Robinson caps Lions AFL revival

Robinson caps Lions AFL revival

In a colourful AFL career, Mitch Robinson has been called a lot of things.

But Brisbane great Simon Black admits he never thought the former AFL bad boy would ever be called Lions captain.

Yet Black says he has no problem with the once controversial midfielder taking a young Lions outfit under his wing in Sunday’s home NAB Challenge pre-season clash against Gold Coast.

Robinson, 26, will skipper a Lions squad that may include up to 10 debutants in their pre-season opener at Burpengary, north of Brisbane.

Asked if he thought Robinson would ever captain Brisbane even for one game, midfield coach Black said: “Probably not.

“But his application and dedication to the club the last 12 months has been nothing but fantastic.

“He’s changed his reputation in the footy world the way he has gone about it.”

Robinson appeared on the AFL outer when he was delisted by a fed up Carlton at the end of 2014.

And he kept ruffling feathers at the Blues upon his Lions arrival in 2015.

Robinson copped a spray from then Carlton coach Mick Malthouse after the midfielder claimed the Blues perceived Brisbane as “a little bit of a walkover team”.

But Robinson learned to harness his aggression and became an on-field leader for an injury-hit Lions.

“The challenge now is for him to keep doing that, keep performing the way he has on and off the field,” Black said.

Robinson will take the reins of a Lions squad featuring exciting forward and No.2 Draft pick Josh Schache along with ex-Cats Josh Walker and Jarrad Jansen and local young gun Ben Keays.

Skipper Tom Rockliff will be rested along with Pearce Hanley, Dayne Zorko, Daniel Rich and North Melbourne recruit Ryan Bastinac.

They are expected to play in the Lions’ next match against St Kilda in Mackay.

Black admitted Schache’s potential excited him but tried not to pump up the 199cm forward any more.

Schache – who kicked a record 24 goals for Vic Country in the 2015 Under 18s national titles – has already earned comparisons with Collingwood’s Travis Cloke.

“He’s been nothing but impressive all summer,” Black said.

“Just his skill level, the way he reads the play.

“But we can’t expect too much from him.

“He’s a first year player. He is going to take time but we are glad he is with us.”

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