Ex-Brisbane midfielder Brent Moloney praises first-year Lion Hugh McCluggage.

SETTLING IN: Brisbane draftee Hugh McCluggage is impressing at AFL level, according to former Lion Brent Moloney. The pair both hail from Hampden league club South Warrnambool. Picture: Getty Images

SETTLING IN: Brisbane draftee Hugh McCluggage is impressing at AFL level, according to former Lion Brent Moloney. The pair both hail from Hampden league club South Warrnambool. Picture: Getty Images

SOUTH Warrnambool recruit Brent Moloney is predicting fellow Rooster export Hugh McCluggage will produce a bold finish to his AFL debut season.

Moloney, who will make his first Hampden league appearance in 16 years on Saturday, said he was excited to watch McCluggage emerge at his former club Brisbane.

Rising star nominee McCluggage is averaging 15 disposals a game after being snapped up with pick three in the 2016 draft.

“I have seen him live and I think you’ll see a lot more from him in the second half of the year,” Moloney, who finished his 166-game AFL career at the Lions, said. 

“He’s had his 10 or 11 games now and kicked a fantastic goal against Geelong and is showing glimpses of what he really can do.

“I think in the second half of the year you’ll really see him come on.”

Moloney is also bullish on Melbourne’s chances of ending an 11-year finals drought.

The inside midfielder played the bulk of his top-level career at the Demons, winning their best and fairest in 2011.

“I am a Demon fan so it’s great to see them going well,” Moloney said.

“It’s just fantastic to see everything is moving up – membership, home games (attendances) and everything off the field is in place which makes it a lot easier on the field.”