BRISBANE Lions captain Jonathan Brown says his club is unlikely to draft his former South Warrnambool clubmate Brent Moloney.
Brown was back in Warrnambool yesterday and said gaps in the playing list meant the Lions would chase a key forward and quick outside midfielders when the post-season trade week began.
Moloney has become the first footballer to test his value in the AFL player market after telling Melbourne officials he wanted a fresh start at a new club.
Brown said he hoped Moloney could find a new football home, but doubted that would be in the Queensland capital. “Our club really needs a key forward that can be there for eight or 10 years,” he said.
“We have potential room in the salary cap, so that’ll be priority number one and potentially a bit of outside speed in the midfield.
“We have a fair few of those inside grunt guys.
“I really rate Brent as a player. Hopefully he continues his career at another club.”
Brown said he welcomed the introduction of free agency in the AFL.
The 30-year-old said it gave footballers who had served their clubs well the freedom to take control of their careers. Battling clubs could rebuild quicker in the free agency environment, which in turn would make football more exciting for fans.
But his endorsement came with a warning: free agency would fail unless the financial gap between the rich and poor clubs was reduced.
“The challenge for the competition is we’ve got salary caps and drafts in place,” Brown said.
“But it’s becoming a two-tier competition with regards to whatever clubs can spend in the football department.
“There’s become a real gulf between the Collingwoods, Carltons and Adelaides and dropping down to the Brisbanes and Port Adelaides of the world.
“That’s the challenge for football clubs to make free agency successful.
“Certainly one of the big attractions of free agency is what clubs can offer them off the field as far as facilities and potential sponsors, as well.”
Brown suffered horrific facial injuries twice in 2011, at both ends of the season, and had his playing future brought into question.
But he made a successful return this season, playing 20 matches as the young Lions lifted their win tally from four to 10.
He is contracted until the end of next season and hopes to continue playing in 2014.
“The team, we look like we’re tracking back in the right direction. It could be a bit of fun the next year or two,” Brown said.
“As long as that’s happening and the body is well, I’ll keep playing.”