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Discussion in 'Brisbane Lions' started by Fatcat08, Aug 17, 2016.
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You need to edit your signature Bunton.
Thanx for spotting that. Thinkingcap on.
The next Buddy? Brisbane’s Eric Hipwood wants to be a Lion for life
MARK ROBINSON, Herald Sun
July 15, 2017 8:00pm
FIRST, the good news.
Eric Hipwood — nicknamed the Eel — wants to stay at the Brisbane Lions and be a one-club player.
The $200,000 kid with the potential to be a million-dollar player, and who is already drawing parallels to Lance Franklin, says the Lions will have him, if they want him, for his entire career.
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“I was listening to Luke Hodge at his press conference this week and he said how proud he was to be a one-club player,” Hipwood said.
“And you listen to Jonathan Brown as well, saying how happy he was to be a one-club player when he even had offers from Collingwood and other clubs. To be a Lion my whole entire career would be fantastic.’’
The 19-year-old highlight reel, who is building, learning and training to become one of the AFL’s elite key forwards, is contracted until the end of 2019.
The Lions will probably move late next season to extend his deal, but that’s not in Hipwood’s thinking.
He’s played just 25 games and the progressive enthusiasm of being at the young Lions is ample for him to focus on right now.
“Again, if I was able to stay at one club for my career it would be something I’d be proud of,’’ he said.
Brisbane forward Eric Hipwood says he wants to be a Lion for life. Picture: Getty Images
“I feel like we’re building something special. We’re all the same age, we’re all good mates. I think David Noble (head of football) is a bit surprised how close everyone is.
“We’re all mates, there’s no individuals at our club and we’re all close. It’s a very enjoyable place to be.’’
If there is overwhelming expectation on Hipwood to be the next “Buddy”, he doesn’t feel it.
He hears it, of course.
The TV commentary rarely calls Hipwood without referencing Franklin and always when assessing Brisbane’s future, Hipwood is top of the pops.
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To be fair, it’s difficult not to see the young Bud in the young Eel.
Both exude confidence in their natural gifts. The athleticism, the clockwise swing to unleash the booming left foot and a get-on-your-bike attitude to take on the opposition. Hipwood might even be a better mark than Franklin at the same age.
Lions coach Chris Fagan can see it, too.
Having worked at Hawthorn, Fagan has tried to instil a belief in his young gun, and others on his list, that there was no ceiling placed on Franklin and Jarryd Roughead when they started and look what they have achieved.
Brisbane coach Chris Fagan knows he has a beauty in Eric Hipwood. Picture: AAP
Fagan this year sat down Hipwood (202cm), Josh Schache (199cm), Daniel McStay (196cm) and Matthew Hammelmann (197cm) and went through edits and the numbers of Franklin and Roughead at about the same age.
“He showed us what they did at our age, showed us how much development they’ve made, where we’ve got to get to. It gave us an outline where they started,’’ Hipwood said. “Just the little things like how they create a contest, how they get away from their man.
“Obviously as a kid, I watched Buddy and Roughead when they were winning so much, and also Nick Riewoldt I watched a fair bit of him, and Browny as well.’’
And the Franklin comparisons?
“To be honest I don’t look too much into it. I definitely hear of it on the news or via mates on Facebook, but I brush it aside,” he said.
“You can’t really look into it too much because as soon as you do, you’re looking away from the team sport and inviting in individualism when it’s a team sport. It’s about improving the team.’’
Many say Eric Hipwood could be the next Lance Franklin. Picture: AAP
The young Lion is aware of the comparisons to the Hawk-turned-Swan. Picture: Phil Hillyard
Hipwood has a thirst for knowledge. He says he wants to be his own man _ “I want to make my own pathway,’’ he said _ but he’s not foolish enough to ignore those who have gone before him.
In this conversation, he referenced Franklin, Roughead, Brown, Riewoldt, Tommy Lynch, Tom Lonergan, Harry Taylor, Harris Andrews and Joe Daniher.
It’s about learning the craft, seeing the tricks and understanding the work required.
It wasn’t always so for Hipwood.
Born in St Kilda, his family moved to the Sunshine Coast when he was three.
There’s five Hipwoods — mum Leanee, dad Bradley, brother Drew, who is 25, and sister Andie, who is 24 and living in Canada.
At 11, Hipwood was playing footy, soccer and rugby.
“I was even at one stage playing netball,’’ he said.
After a break, he started football again at 13 for Caloundra, and at 15 made his senior debut against Aspley at Aspley as a wingman.
“It was quite funny because dad played his first game in the seniors there as well,’’ he said. That was about 1978.
“My first game ... it was a bit scary. We were the underdog and we got up to win.
“I remember my first goal. One of the senior boys shepherded it through when he could’ve easily have taken a chest mark, but he let it go through. They all got around me, it was a good feeling.’’
His penchant for footy accelerated twofold about this time.
He was a member of the Lions’ academy and his folks had Foxtel installed at home.
He went from watching three games a weekend to watching every game in every round and then the analysis shows during the week
“By the time I was 16, I was watching every single game and loved it,” he said. “I watched it all the time.’’
At 18, he was taken at No. 14 in the 2015 national draft as an academy selection.
Even then he began studying teammates and opposition players to improve his game.
In the lead-up to the Essendon game in Round 15, he perused Michael Hartley who played on Franklin the weekend before, just to see how Buddy did it.
Hipwood learned plenty from the loss to Geelong last weekend, too, having been outmanoeuvred by two masters of the defensive craft in Tom Lonergan and Harry Taylor.
Hipwood with fellow Lions young guns Josh Schache and Ben Keays. Picture: Sarah Reed
On the agenda over the coming summer is the gym.
“I need to get stronger,’’ he said. “I was nudged under the ball too much. But I’m learning each week. I will get in the gym and get as strong as I can and learn how I can use my body.’’
He arrived at the Lions weighing 82kg. He’s now 92kg.
“We don’t have a set weight to get to,’’ he said. “If you look at Joe Daniher, he’s 96kg and he’s a really, really strong boy. I sort of look at him ... be 95kg and keep your athleticism is the key.’’
A midfielder who sprung north late in his teens, Hipwood is a taller version of Hawthorn’s Jack Gunston.
The Hawks forward was a midfielder as a junior, shot up late, and then became a difficult opponent because of his tank, agility and ball-handling skills.
L-Justin Leppitsch takes a selfie with the Lions’ draft prizes Ben Keays, Sam Skinner, Rhys Mathieson, Josh Schache, Eric Hipwood, Reuben William.
The likelihood with Schache re-signing is that Hipwood will play as the high forward, in a similar way to Daniher and Franklin, and also from the goal square when needed.
“If you look at Jeremy Cameron, he’s moving all the time,’’ Hipwood said. “Even Tom Lynch, he’s up, deep forward, so you have to be able to play both. You have to be flexible because the game can change so quick, also play backline if you’re required.’’
His mantra is: Train hard and reap rewards later on.
He also sees a changing environment at the Lions.
“We’re all just buying into it together,’’ he said. “As a playing group, fundamentally and in the little things, we’re looking to improve and each player is trying to improve each single game. I feel when I come into the club 48 of us are trying to improve every single day.
“I’m just trying to get the most out myself.’’
Eric Hipwood has come a long way in a short time — pictured in 2015. Picture: AFL Media
What an absolute champion.
The comments about individualism and being a team game are stunningly mature for such a young and talented man.
I'm considering changing my membership card image from Mitch to hippy based on that alone. Assuming it's available.
Nice way to wake up on a Sunday morning and reading that.
That should be put in the positive thread
It was nice to pick up the Herald Sun today and read a piece on the Lions. Rarely happens. To be fair to Robbo he gives us more publicity than anyone else. The other Herald Sun journos wouldn't know 6 players in our side.
Look out everyone in about 3 years when these kids hit their straps.
Might be his way of saying.
'Show me the money'.
If he is only being paid $200,000 at the moment. Then he us the most under payed player in the Afl. And deserves another contract now.
Hahahahah no trust me mate this bloke bleeds for the club. Along with Keays and co they will all be long term players for us
He's on a mandated AFL rookie contract this year. That's how they know exactly how much he's getting paid.
So cynical. So sad.
Sorry probably didn't explain myself real well.
I more so meant that he signed his contract extension very early, we have since had a new CBA agreed upon and he would be well within his right to re-negotiate a better deal with the club for next year and beyond. Because he has shown this year he is well worth it. And if he is only contracted for $200,000 next year then he is being underpayed.
Great article and great leadership from him to show his commitment to the club in such a big statement.
I love the fact that he has shown his passion and encouraging others to follow.
Brisbane Lions defender Alex Witherden earns AFL Round 17 Rising Star nomination
GILBERT GARDINER, Herald Sun
July 17, 2017 8:00pm
LIVING away from home only makes Victorian-bred Brisbane Lions stronger, according to Round 17 Rising Star Alex Witherden.
The Geelong Falcons product is the third cub to earn a nomination this season after exciting forward Eric Hipwood (Round 5) and prized No.3 draft pick Hugh McCluggage (Round 14).
Only the Lions’ next opponent, Carlton, with five, has snared more Rising Stars nods.
Leaving family in Geelong was not easy for Witherden, 18, but the prodigious right-footer knew a Falcons connection would hold him in good shape in the Sunshine State.
“Falcons always look after each other,” Witherden told the Herald Sun.
“There’s a few of us up here which also made it a lot easier to move up here.”
Alex Witherden gets a Gatorade shower after playing in his first win as a Lion. Picture: Getty Images
The Lions have meticulously plucked Victorians in bunches in recent years, including four former Falcons — 2014 Rising Star Lewis Taylor, Rhys Mathieson, Darcy Gardiner and Geelong premiership star Allen Christensen.
Witherden, taken with pick No.23 in the draft, moved to Brisbane last year with fellow Victorians Jarrod Berry, Cedric Cox and McCluggage.
“We’re a pretty tight-knit group (the Victorians) and I think that’s one of the perks of everyone moving away from home,” he said.
“You’ve got no choice other than to be close mates so I guess that holds us in good stead in the future.
“Brisbane, other than the actual city, the outskirts don’t feel too dissimilar to Geelong the suburbs and that so it’s not too daunting, it’s been good.”
Witherden has played four games since making his debut in Round 14 against GWS Giants, averaging 24 disposals and five rebounds 50s.
The ball magnet slipped in the draft after breaking his leg during the TAC Cup season.
“It was really challenging but probably character building more than anything,” Witherden said.
“It helps with that resilience, I guess, that mental toughness to back up and come into training when things aren’t going your way.”
Witherden made the most of the time away from the game, adding about eight kilograms to build an AFL-ready body.
“That’s helped me a lot in the transition to AFL football, compared to where I may have been had I not broken my leg.”
Despite living in Geelong, the Lions No.29 grew up a North Melbourne supporter.
“Boomer Harvey was my favourite player growing up so I wore 29 all through my Auskick days and when the number was available here I thought that’d be a beauty to get on the back.”
Witherden also made the team of the week.
Talk about wow.
Laird had more disposals but only 487 metres gained
Witherden is quickly becoming one of my favourite players. Such a smart user and already has the composure of a 200 gamer. Well deserved rising star nom, could potentially win the whole thing next season too. We've got a gem in Witho
Who has he replaced in our back 6 from earlier in the year? Gardiner?
He's essentially taken over Rich's role, hopefully in time being able to play him higher up the ground as our kicks from defence improve
Coach Fagan coming up on SEN this hour.
I'm listening to SEN waiting for Chris Fagan to come on, gee that Jon Ralph is a pain in the backside, so annoying.
Have to be the laziest journalist there is....