Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

Martin Ready to Ruck and Roll on for Lions

Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

Martin Ready to Ruck and Roll on for Lions

Article excerpt

Byline: TERRY MALLINDER AFL SPORTS BUREAU

GAME DAY

LIONS V DOCKERS

Tomorrow, Gabba, 1.10pm

Today: Roos v Crows 1.45pm, Bombers v Suns 2.10pm, Giants v Magpies 4.40pm, Hawks v Cats 7.40pm, Eagles v Demons 7.40pm

STEFAN Martin is excited about the prospect of being a part of a full-strength Brisbane Lions midfield next season -- one in which he and Matthew Leuenberger alternate in the ruck.

At the crossroads three months ago, the 27-year-old's career-revival has been one of the stories of 2014.

If not for knee injuries to Leuenberger and back-up big man Trent West, however, the athletic 198cm powerhouse may not have gotten a chance at the top level again.

After playing just five games last season following his arrival from Melbourne, Martin made his first appearance this year in round 12.

He had only returned to the field two weeks earlier in the NEAFL after overcoming a back injury, but hit the ground running for the seniors ... and hasn't stopped.

Among the permanent ruckmen in the league, he is a number one for average disposals (22), marks (6) and clearances (4), while also registering a career-high 30 hit-outs.

It's the type of form that have fans hoping doesn't diminish if he's forced to play second-fiddle to Leuenberger.

"You look at other teams and West Coast is a great example when (Dean) Cox and (Nic) Naitanui are up and running," he told APN yesterday.

"Their best position is in the ruck, but having a tall target up forward is handy too. Whether they are hitting the scoreboard or not they are still going to draw a good defender.

"I talked to Leppa (coach Justin Leppitsch) this week, and he's pretty excited about next year, having 'Leuey' back and getting perhaps myself and him up and running and trying to be a really dangerous duo, swapping through the ruck and playing some tricks . …

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