Lyons feeling at home as grunt man for Lions
Jarryd Lyons knows what his role is and he knows it is valued.
The former Sun was brought to the Lions to bolster their clearance game - an area where he has few peers across the AFL.
Against the Kangaroos at Marvel Stadium today the reason the Lions went hard for he and fellow recruit Lachie Neale will be on display.
The Lions have not won the clearance count against the Roos under Chris Fagan and as a result have yet to beat them.
"We've looked at past games this week and the contested possessions and clearances were the main factor in recent losses,'' Lyons said.
"It is a something we have worked on a lot and also the club and brought in personnel for that.
"It is the area that wins and loses this game.''
Lyon is flourishing at his new home. While at the Suns the coaching group became fixated on what they saw as flaws and he was demoted to the NEAFL on occasion despite being one of the premier clearances players in the AFL, Fagan is cashing in on his strengths.
The 26-year-old was wary of any comment that could be construed as critical of his former club but admitted he had found new enjoyment and confidence in his footy and was thrilled with the relationship he had formed with Fagan.
"I guess the way Fages coaches, he likes to coach to your strengths and he likes to coach your weapons,'' he said.
"You still work on your weaknesses and try to improve them but the focus is on the strengths, everyone has different skills, everyone has one area of the game they are stronger at than others and we have roles that compliment that.
"He is a bit of a father figure, I'd heard that word thrown around a bit and it is right, he gives you the confidence to just back yourself in instead of worrying about what you aren't doing as well. ''
Fagan has also tapped into an area of Lyons' game that has been under-utilised - his ability to hit the scoreboard which he showed with a four goal haul in the final JLT match against Melbourne.
The Lions want all their midfielders to be able to play forward and while Lyons and Neale will be the mainstays, they will still spent time in attack.
Against West Coast in round one, captain Dayne Zorko played a blinder as a pressure forward because the new midfield depth.
"As a group we have certainly trained for players to go forward,'' he said.
"With the modern game and the rotations and the restrictions on runners it can be hard to get off the ground.
"So at any given time we could have two or even three midfielders in our forward fifty.''