The Lions' Tom Cutler in action against Gold Coast at Metricon Stadium last month. Picture: Chris Hyde/Getty Images
The Lions' Tom Cutler in action against Gold Coast at Metricon Stadium last month. Picture: Chris Hyde/Getty Images

Lions' Tom Cutler aims to prove his worth

TOM Cutler's stretch in the NEAFL in the early rounds is evidence of how good a shape the Brisbane Lions' list has been in this season.

The 24-year-old was forced to bide his time in the reserves for the first five rounds - alongside talent such as Ben Keays, Lewis Taylor and Allen Christensen - as the seniors, in form and healthy, settled into a spot in the top eight.

"Our team at the moment is pretty deep," said Cutler, in his sixth season at AFL level.

"Obviously it's disappointing for a player of my age to start off that way. You always want to play senior footy, but I had to wait for my turn and work on a couple of things in my game.

"Other guys had really good form, and credit to them.

"Fortunately I'm back in the senior side with an opportunity and looking to build with the team."

The athletic wingman (pictured), who at his best is an important link between defence and attack, has played in the side's past two wins, gathering 21 disposals against Gold Coast and 23 against Sydney.

He is heeding coach Chris Fagan's directive for all his players to be more versatile.

"It's certainly not all about possessions, (there's) other things you're required to do out there on the field," he said.

Sitting fourth on 5-2, the Lions head to chilly Ballarat to play the in-form Bulldogs, who will be buoyed by the performances of young forward Aaron Naughton and superstar Marcus Bontempelli in the win over Richmond last Saturday.

Taken in the same draft (2013), Cutler and "The Bont" played together in the Vic Metro U18s and were part of the AIS-AFL academy squad.

"And I played a bit of school football against him," Cutler recalled.

"He would dominate games ... very, very talented player, doing some great things. He's one of the best players in the league." 

News Corp Australia


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