Brisbane Lions football manager Dean Warren says a story claiming they are shopping around Daniel Merrett is “not factual”.
Brisbane football manager Dean Warren has denied a report claiming that the Lions have been shopping Daniel Merrett around to other AFL clubs.
Warren said a newspaper article on Wednesday that said Merrett had been offered up for trade was “not factual”.
The report in The Australian – under the headline: “Merrett latest Lions’ cull victim” – said Greater Western Sydney had already knocked back the 171-game key position player.
It said the Lions were now expecting offers from clubs looking for a tall defender such as Melbourne and Western Bulldogs in return for a low order draft selection.
The report came two days after the Lions cut four senior players – including 123-gamer Andrew Raines – and three rookies ahead of the upcoming AFL trade and free agency period.
Raines joined James Polkinghorne, Jordan Lisle and Patrick Wearden and rookies Nick Hayes, Sam Michael and Isaac Conway on the outer at the Lions.
Add the retirements of Jonathan Brown, Brent Moloney and Ash McGrath this year and the Lions player roster will undergo sweeping changes for 2015.
Queensland-born Merrett – now 29 – had claimed he was a “Lion for life” after signing a three-year deal in 2013.
Meanwhile, the Lions have confirmed they will soon enter contract negotiations with their Rising Star nominee James Aish.
The manager of the South Australian 18-year-old had postponed talks when the Lions approached him in the pre-season before Aish had even played a game.
Aish – who finished fourth behind winning teammate Lewis Taylor in the AFL Rising Star votes on Wednesday – lived up to the hype this season, missing just one senior game on debut when rested in round 14.
The No.7 pick at last year’s draft averaged 17.6 touches per game, ranking him sixth at the club.
He also ranked fourth at the Lions in marks (94), fifth in tackles (77), seventh in clearances (43) and seventh in inside 50s (48).
“I had a few games I was happy with and a few games that were pretty average but overall I was happy to play as many games as I did in my first year,” Aish, already contracted until the end of 2015, told the Lions’ website.
“I put a bit of pressure on myself to perform. I wanted to set pretty high standards.
“I learned a lot from the year but there’s still lots to work on and improve going forward.”
The Lions will name their 2014 club best and fairest at a gala dinner on Friday night.