Tom Rockliff, the captain of the Brisbane Lions, is hoping that youngster James Aish will re-sign with the AFL club before the season ends. Aish is under contract until the end of the 2015 campaign, but the South Australian hasn’t committed his future to the Lions as of yet. There’s been speculation that he could be headed to Adelaide if he doesn’t re-sign with Brisbane. The 19-year-old is the only one of Brisbane’s seven 2013 draft picks who hasn’t re-signed with the team. The club has tried to start negotiations with him, but the midfielder and his agent Liam Pickering aren’t in any hurry to seal a new deal. Football bans and punters can wager on their favourite players and sides this season with at CrownBet AFL.
Rockliff remarked that it’s up to each individual to decide if he wants to re-sign or not, but he’s hoping Aish will decide to remain Lion since the club is on the right track. The captain recently spoke with AFL.com.au and stated, “Time will tell, and as the year plays out I’m sure the club will get a better indication. If you get to round 15 or 16 and he hasn’t signed, you’d probably think he’ll leave. We’d love him to stay as we think he’s a part of our future.”
Head coach Justin Leppitsch is also hoping Aish will stay beyond this season and would like to see him sign sooner rather than later. He feels Aish is a key midfield player and has a lot of leadership potential. The coach said he understands how difficult it is for young football players to leave home for the very first time, but believes Aish is happy at Brisbane and will become an important player for the squad in the long term. Fans of the Lions and Aish can back them this year with a CrownBet AFL wager.
Aish impressed in his first year at the Gabba as he made 21 appearances and placed fourth in the voting for the NAB Rising Star Award, which was one spot behind fellow Lion Lewy Taylor, who can also be backed in 2015 with a CrownBet AFL bet. Aish has continued his fine play in the preseason NAB Challenge contests and should be one of Leppitsch’s regular 22 players when the season kicks off. Rockliff said the cub and his Lions’ teammates have let Aish know how much they’d like him to stay, and they must now wait for his decision and respect it whatever it is.
Leppitsch said he thinks Aish is deciding whether or not he wants to play closer to his home state and it’s sometimes a tough decision to make. He believes the best thing to do now is leave Aish alone and let the teenager figure things out for himself. Leppitsch admitted that he doesn’t speak to the player about the situation and doesn’t feel he really needs to since Aish knows how he feels about him. With or without Aish the Lions will garner a lot of attention this season when it comes to a CrownBet AFL wager.