Sam Reid goes from Lions fan to Giant foe
SAM Reid has fond memories of being a young fan cheering on the Brisbane Lions at the Gabba.
"I was at the game when (Jason) Akermanis kicked one (goal) on one side (of the ground) on his right foot and then another on the other side on his left," he recalled.
"They just had a really good team ... Nigel Lappin, Shaun Hart, Vossy (Michael Voss), Aker... all the guns.
"I have good memories of going to watch them as a kid."
Those days are long gone, however, as the Sunshine Coast product helps to plot the Lions' demise when they are hosted by the GWS Giants in Sydney on Sunday.
It's a battle between fourth and fifth as the Lions push for a first finals appearance since 2009. Both teams hold a 9-5 win-loss record going into the round-16 clash.
The Lions are coming off a 33-point win over Melbourne, the Giants a six-point loss to Essendon.
"It's always good to see any team outside of Melbourne do well," Reid said. "Makes the game a bit bigger.
"They're getting the home crowds back. Had a bit of a lull there for a while, but they've made that (the Gabba) a fortress again.
"They are in really good form. It's a massive game in terms of the ladder.
"We've got to bounce back after a disappointing finish last week."
Having settled into the defence this season, Reid faces the prospect of trying to keep the "really dangerous" Brisbane forward line quiet.
In particular he may be given the task of curbing a red-hot Charlie Cameron.
"It could be Charlie Cameron, which will be a tough ask," he said. "He's in really good form. Once he gets going he's hard to stop."
Cameron is a man capable of replicating the kind of goals Akermanis was renowned for - from either pocket, on either foot.
"Give him a bit is space and that's exactly what he'll do," Reid said.
At 29, Reid is now enjoying continuity in his football. Plagued by injuries in four years at the Bulldogs (10 senior games), and then two at GWS (14), he was ultimately delisted at the end of 2013.
But with improved fitness and form in the NEAFL, where he was assistant playing coach of the Giants, he would eventually demand a spot back on the senior list for the 2016 season.
He played 13 games in 2017, a further 21 last year and all 14 so far this season for a total of 78 - almost 12 years after first being drafted to the Dogs from Zillmere.
Last year he was "thrown around to fix problems that might arise" anywhere on the field.
This year he's nailed down a spot in defence, using his speed and pressure to great effect.
"I don't know if he (coach Leon Cameron) thought I'd play it so well," Reid said. "I'm taking confidence out of that, that I get that job.
"I'm living on the edge a bit, that my spot is always up for grabs."