Jed Adcock may be the new Brisbane Lions captain but Jonathan Brown is still making an impact at the AFL club, assistant Shane Woewodin says.
Captaincy has come naturally for new Brisbane Lions AFL skipper Jed Adcock but when Jonathan Brown speaks, everyone still listens.
Lions coach Justin Leppitsch has talked up Adcock’s impact as only Brisbane’s third sole captain since the club merger.
However, Lions assistant Shane Woewodin said ex-captain Brown’s booming voice would still be heard upon his welcome return from injury in their final AFL practice match against Sydney at Burpengary, north of Brisbane, on Saturday.
The stage is set for a blockbuster battle after Brown finally overcame a serious foot injury to receive the green light for his first official hit-out of 2014 – a showdown with Lance Franklin’s Swans.
After sharing the role with Adcock last season, Brown relinquished the captaincy ahead of the 2014 campaign but Woewodin said it was business as usual for the veteran forward in his new role as mentor.
“He has always embraced it. He loves working with the younger guys, teaching them the tools of the trade of what is required to be an AFL footballer,” he said.
“A captain is just a ‘c’ against your name.
“The leadership qualities he brings are invaluable whether he has that against his name or not.”
The three-time premiership forward spent the off-season mulling over his future after his 2013 campaign was cut short by injury in August.
But the 32-year-old re-signed for another year under new coach Leppitsch and finally emerged from months of rehab when he showed encouraging signs with two goals in an intra-club cameo last week.
Brown will this weekend feature in a 27-strong squad that also includes Daniel Merrett, Matthew Leuenberger, Jed Adcock, Daniel Rich, Pearce Hanley and Claye Beams.
“It’s about time,” Brownlow Medallist Woewodin laughed when asked about Brown’s return.
“It’s great to have his presence.”
It will be hard to ignore Brown but Leppitsch said Adcock had also made an impact.
“Jed’s obviously a very good player, but he’s also a very smart thinker of the game and a very good organiser on the field,” he told SEN radio in Melbourne.
“Why he got the nod as captain was because of his on-field leadership and ability to organise others – he’s one of the best I’ve seen at that.”