Lee Duffield

Edited by Lee Duffield
Freedom and Truth

Lions lose their best and fairest

Michael Rischitelli has won the Merrett-Murray Medal for the Brisbane Lions’ best and fairest player a mere two days after the team lost him to the Gold Coast Suns.

Rischitelli is the eighth person to be honoured with the medal after it was renamed in 1996.

Polling just three votes behind Rischitelli, Simon Black was the runner-up.

While the Lions have lost Rischitelli, chief executive Michael Bowers is confident that the club will manage to retain not only Black, but Luke Power as well.

“I think that if you look at the careers of Simon and Luke they’ve been fantastic players for the club and we firmly believe that they’ll finish their careers in the club,” said Bowers.

In a three-year deal reportedly worth $500,000 a season, Rischitelli has become the third un-contracted player to sign with the new AFL franchise after Nathan Bock and Nathan Krakouer joined the Suns.
Rischitelli says he is leaving the Lions on a good note and can only thank them enough.

“As a club, I’ve learnt a lot from the Lions and I think I’ve grown as a player and I’ve still got a lot of growing to do,” said Rischitelli.

Rischitelli is excited about the move, saying it is what feels right at this point in his career.

“The decision was made purely for me and what’s best for my future,” said Rischitelli.

The Lions say they did all they could to entice Rischitelli to stay with the team, although in the end it just wasn’t enough.

“The AFL designed it so that they can access players. Those sorts of things in your armoury were impossible for us to compete against,” said Bowers.