Lake a star attraction

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LEETON-BOUND: A triple premiership player with Hawthorn, Brian Lake will play a one-off game in the Riverina League on Saturday for the Crows against Griffith.Former Hawthorn star Brian Lake doesn’t want Leeton-Whitton to tip their game plan upside down on Saturday to accommodate his one-off appearance.

The triple premiership player has been named in the Crows’forward line for thelocal derby against Griffith Swans but the experienced backman said he’s happy to play whatever role the team requires.

“I guess I’ve played centre-half-back and full-back for a very long time in my AFL career,” Lake said.

“But in junior football and local football now (for Caroline Springs in Melbourne’sWestern Region League) I’m playing a bit more centre-half-forward, full-forward and even doing some work around the ground as a ruckman, too.”

Lake said he wants to play a part in what the Crows are trying to do for the season, not be a disruption to the team, and he’s happy to be in the hands of coach Jade Hodge.

“I want to be able to fit in to their structures and try to help as much as possible,” Lake said.

“I’m willing to do anything.Hopefully what I can do as well is teach the guys around me and the coach about different times of the game and how the teams are trying to play and what-not.”

CAN JJMP: Brian Lake shows his marking ability during last year’s grand final. Picture: Getty Images

Hodge said the town is buzzing about Lake’svisit.

As a first-year coach, he’s looking forward to picking the brain of a 251-game AFL veteran as well as watching what he can do.

“It’s always a bit of a drawcard isn’t it – be exciting if he kicks a few, it’ll getthe crowd up and about,” Hodge said.

“I think he’ll be pretty handy up there –obviously a very nice mark of the footy, he reads the ball well and he’s a pretty big guy.”

Lakeretired from the AFL last seasonalmost reluctantly after a third flag in three seasons.

The34-year old is familiar with the Riverina having played with Matt Suckling, Isaac Smith and Luke Breust at Hawthornand was keen to experience country football.

Lake a star attraction Defender Brian Lake during the 2015 AFL grand final.

Ever the character, Brian Lake commandeered a Gatorade buggy after the Hawks 2015 grand final win.

Lake in Hawthorn’s preliminary final win against Fremantle Dockers.

Brian Lake hugs teammate Ben McEvoy after Hawthorn qualify for another AFL grand final last year.

Brian Lake marks strongly against Port Adelaide.

Brian Lake in action against West Coast during last year’s finals.

Classic Lake pressure

Lake the key defender.

Lake prepares to mark against West Coast.

Lake in action against Geelong last season.

Brian Lake gets airborne in last year’s grand final win over West Coast.

Lake wrestling with then-Cat Steve Johnson last year.

Brian Lake after his 200th AFL Game, for Hawthorn against Sydney in 2013.

Brian Lake, right,with fellow retiring Hawk David Hale after a third straight Hawthorn premiership.

Lake throws himself into the contest during a game against Collingwood in 2014.

Lake’s infamous run-in with Kangaroo Drew Petrie.

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