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Staker signs for two

Thursday, 7th November, 2013

Brent Staker, pictured with West Robins’ juniors in 2009, has re-signed with the Brisbane Lions for another two years. Brent Staker, pictured with West Robins’ juniors in 2009, has re-signed with the Brisbane Lions for another two years.

By Peter Argent

West Broken Hill Robins’ export Brent Staker will be in the AFL system for at least another two years, as he has agreed to terms on a new contract that will see him remain at the Lions until the end of 2015. 

“I just hope to continue to play good football, playing in that utility role,” Staker told the BDT before flying out for two weeks of altitude training in America. 

“I’m absolutely rapt that I have signed for another two seasons. 

“My goals from here on are just to enjoy my time, in a new up and coming team. 

“Travelling and training in Arizona should be an awesome experience.” 

Former West coach Colin Tonkin mentored Staker as a junior from the Under 13 to Under 17 level and said he always had the determination to make it at the top level.

“He was excellent, very naturally gifted and had all the skills back then,” Tonkin recalls.

“He was really easy to coach too and always listened to the instructions of the coaching staff.”

Giving Staker a two-year contract is a strong show of faith by the Lions for a player who is veteran of AFL system. 

Generally the Lions had a policy of only offering senior players one-year deals but offered an extended contract to Staker who was happy to go through tough negotiations after spending two of the last three years on the sidelines with knee injuries.

This season the 29-year-old Brisbane Lions utility made a stunning return from consecutive knee reconstructions, playing 15 senior games in a row and kicking 21 goals.

“It’s a fantastic result for the Brisbane Football Club to have Brent around for a further two years,” Lions General Manager of Football Operations, Dean Warren said. 

“Brent provides a wealth of experience to our young group and is a fantastic character to have around the club.

“He was particularly important this year in his ability to play a role both up forward and down back when required. 

“He’s had a tough time with injury over the past few years but his resilience and determination has paid off.”

Staker was originally drafted to the West Coast Eagles from the NSW/ACT Rams program and played 110 games, kicking 84 goals before being traded to the other side of the nation at the end of 2009. 

The Eagles traded him to the Brisbane Lions with its third round draft pick (#39 overall) for Brad Dalziell.

There were rumours that Staker would join Carlton during the trade period, with him taking a tour of the Carlton facility. 

After the losses of young talent Billy Longer, Elliot Yeo, Jared Polec and Patrick Karnezis, signing a senior player in Staker is seen as a critical and positive step for the Lions under new coach Justin Leppitsch.

“I thought I’d do what was best for me and that was to see what was out there and what married up,” Staker had said previously. 

“It worked out that Brisbane was the better offer for me and the better place to play my footy so it was pretty simple.”

After completing the series of demanding fitness tests at the University of Queensland on Melbourne Cup day, the Lions now fly out to a two-week training camp in Arizona.

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