Brisbane coach Justin Leppitsch has called for a ‘Queensland voice’ on the AFL’s All-Australian selection panel.
Brisbane coach Justin Leppitsch has called for a “Queensland voice” on the All-Australian selection committee after fearing Lions young gun Lewy Taylor might miss Rising Star honours.
Leppitsch feels livewire Taylor, who has impressed in all 21 matches for the Lions, should be a favourite for the AFL’s best rookie award.
But he’s worried the Lions’ low standing might mean the 10 judges – the AFL’s All-Australian selectors plus Kevin Sheehan – won’t have watched enough of the 19-year-old Vic Country product to vote for him.
“Both (Taylor and James Aish) have had exceptional years,” Leppitsch said. “I don’t think Lewy’s had a bad game all year.
“It depends if the selectors actually turn on the box when the Brisbane games are on or they don’t. Really, that’s what is going to decide it.
“A lot of those selection committees, there isn’t a Queensland voice on them, whether it’s us or the Suns.
“South Australian blokes are pushing the South Australians, West Australians the same. It’d be nice to have a Queensland voice on those committees.”
The lack of a Queensland selector didn’t prevent Gold coast midfielder Jaeger O’Meara winning last year’s Rising Star award.
The AFL’s website voted exciting Western Bulldogs youngster Marcus Bontempelli as their rookie of the year, narrowly ahead of Taylor.
Leppitsch also believed in-form Lions vice-captain Tom Rockliff should be included in the All-Australian team on the weight of his numbers.
The All Australian selection panel is Gillon McLachlan (chairman), Kevin Bartlett, Luke Darcy, Mark Evans, Danny Frawley, Glen Jakovich, Cameron Ling, Matthew Richardson and Warren Tredrea.
Meantime, dynamic ruckman Stef Martin has chosen to re-sign with Brisbane despite reported interest from Hawthorn.
Martin struck career-best form in 2014, playing the past 11 matches, after receiving a lifeline due to serious injuries to Matthew Leuenberger and Trent West.
The former Melbourne ruck-forward has been plagued by injuries in a seven-season career that has reaped just 73 games.
“It’s a credit to Stef. He’s had a breakout year – well, a breakout 10 games since the halfway mark – so well done and we’re rapt to have him,” Leppitsch said.
“If he can play as well as he has for the past eight weeks (next season), he would be in All-Australian contention.”
Martin signed a two-year deal to keep him at the Gabba until the end of the 2016 season.
“Earlier this year, we all thought Stef’s career was at a crossroads and Stef himself acknowledged his recall as his ‘last chance’, but he really has earned this new deal and has transformed himself into arguably one of the best ruckman in the competition this season,” said Lions football manager Dean Warren.