West’s forward Thinking

AFL 2014 Rd 01 - Hawthorn v BrisbaneThe recruitment of Trent West could prove critical for the Brisbane Lions’ fortunes this season, with the former Geelong premiership ruckman displaying a level of versatility that would have pleased Justin Leppitsch and his coaching staff.

West was recruited first and foremost to support Matthew Leuenberger in the ruck, but also understood that he may be required to pinch-hit up forward on occasion – even though prior to joining the Lions, he had kicked just 23 goals from 54 games with the Cats (an average of 0.4 goals per game).

But against reigning premiers Hawthorn last Saturday, West produced a career-high hail of three goals – two of which came during a purple patch in the third term which narrowed the margin to just two points.

He also had five clearances – the most of any ruckman on the ground – collected 12 disposals, and effected 15 hitouts.

It was a terrific debut for the 199cm recruit, who said he’s now looking forward to working in tandem with Leuenberger throughout the rest of the season.

“Hopefully Leuey and I can work like that…and I can get forward and snag a few more goals,” West said during an exclusive post-match interview with LIONS TV.

“We’re getting on pretty well. Leuey’s taken me under his wing a bit. It’s always handy to have someone to take me around Brisbane and show me the sights.

“He’s been really good since I’ve been up here.”

West will now prepare to line-up against his former side for the first time with the Lions set to host Geelong at the Gabba this Sunday afternoon.

He expects that some of the knowledge from his time at the Cattery could prove useful ahead of this weekend.

“They’re a good team and they played well the other night, so we’ll have a very close look at them,” he said.

“I’ll definitely be helping out where I can.”