Ah Chee next Linc in chain as Lions rebuild

Murray Wenzel |

Callum Ah Chee (L) has become a forward force in the absence of the injured Lincoln McCarthy (R).
Callum Ah Chee (L) has become a forward force in the absence of the injured Lincoln McCarthy (R).

Chris Fagan didn’t forget Callum Ah Chee’s gentle pre-season reminder when Lincoln McCarthy joined the AFL club’s mounting injury list two weeks ago.

And the versatile 26-year-old has made the most of his return to the Brisbane Lions’ forward line as the club scraps to return to the top eight.

Four goals in a draw against Adelaide last week were followed up by an early goal, goal assist, a huge mark and 19 disposals in an 119-point flogging of Richmond on Saturday.

“I got drafted as a forward, but have sort of played all over the ground,” the 126-game, former Gold Coast Suns talent said.

“It’s the place I feel most natural and play on instinct the most.

“Linc did his ACL, which is horrible, but someone else has to step up and I’m more than happy to play in that role.

“At AFL level you can’t ever feel comfortable, in terms of keeping your spot, and that will keep me playing on the edge.

“But I’m happy I’ve been able to contribute.”

Fagan has been forced to tinker with a side that had barely changed over four years of title contention. 

Kai Lohmann, who kicked five goals against Richmond, and Logan Morris, who had two, are two more fresh faces in a revamped forward line that have helped the side recover from 2-5 to be 4-5-1.

“With Lincoln out, it gives him (Lohmann) an opportunity, and Cal Ah Chee the same,” Fagan said.

“We had a conversation about that over the pre-season and he (Ah Chee) declared that if he could get a spot in the forward line, that’s where he thinks he can play his best football.

“We’ve had the opportunity to do that with some injuries to other players, and he’s taken his opportunity.

“He asked me the question and he’s backed it up with actions. Good on him.”

Breaking a Hawthorn hoodoo at Marvel Stadium on Sunday – the Hawks, despite their recent struggles, have won the past four games against Brisbane – is a familiar challenge for a side in an unfamiliar position.

“We played our brand tonight and know that works against anyone – and we kicked straight,” Ah Chee said.

“We need to take this momentum into next week. I don’t think we’ve beaten them the last few years so for us it’s a big game, but we’re playing our brand now.”

AAP