Jono Freeman return set to give Brisbane glimmer of hope

HE'S one of Brisbane's great white hopes, and the Lions will certainly be hoping they can get the ball down to him enough.

Sunshine Coast product Jono Freeman makes his first appearance of the season today when the Lions are hosted by Geelong at Simonds Stadium.

The 198cm forward made a promising start to his AFL career last season when kicking six goals in four games, including four in one against Collingwood, before undergoing back surgery during the off-season and then battling an ankle injury.

The strong-marking 21-year-old has played the last two weeks in the NEAFL.

For a side crying out for a tall target after averaging a league-low 9.3 goals this season, he will be a beacon up forward, alongside young Daniel McStay, who has had the burden of carrying the attack for much of the year.

Suffice to say, the Lions want to give them both the best opportunity against an experienced Cats defence led by Tom Lonergan and Harry Taylor.

"We've done a lot of work on how we want to move the ball," Lions assistant coach Danny Daly said yesterday.

"We're obviously a side which don't want to move it slowly.

"We've done a lot of work on our ability to take the ball and play on at all costs ... hopefully get some more inside-50ms and more scoring opportunities."

The Lions have failed to pass 50 points in their past four games, booting just five goals in the loss to North Melbourne last week and just four the week before against Melbourne.

"Hopefully you'll see a brand of football that is exciting and hopefully we can kick some goals - certainly more than five or six - and we can get into double figures and put some scoreboard pressure on the Cats," Daly said.

As well as Freeman, star midfielders Dayne Beams and Pearce Hanley have been named and expected to play as the Lions look to cause an upset at a venue where they haven't won since 2003.

Geelong, however, will be desperate to win at home to remain in contention for a ninth-straight finals series. The Cats are 10th, two premiership points in arrears of the eighth-placed Kangaroos and ninth-placed GWS.


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