The Brisbane Lions have gambled on the fitness of Nakia Cockatoo by signing the forward on a two-year deal.
Cockatoo, 24, joins the Lions from Geelong, with the Cats to receive in exchange a future third-round draft selection that is linked to Melbourne,
In six seasons with the Geelong, Cockatoo played just 34 AFL matches, with his most recent being in 2018 as he battled ongoing hamstring problems.
But the Lions are confident in their ability to get injury-plagued players fit, having done wonders in recent years with another former Cat Lincoln McCarthy, and ex-Hawthorn defender Grant Birchall.
“I’m over the moon,” Cockatoo said.
“There’s been a bit of a wait so when I got the call that it was going ahead it was a great feeling.”
Powerful, fast, and as competitive as they come.
Get excited, Lions fans 🙌 pic.twitter.com/aZlAvwn51s
Cockatoo, a Northern Territory product who was selected at 10 in the 2014 national draft, said a conversation with Lions coach Chris Fagan had him “really excited” about his opportunities with Brisbane.
“I’d like to thank Geelong. I’m so grateful for the opportunity they gave me, coming from a little town called Humpty Doo, to live out my childhood dream of playing AFL, I can’t thank them enough, but now I’m a Brisbane Lion and I can’t wait to get stuck into training with the boys” he said.
Welcome brother #crying https://t.co/NaHIfODMe7
Lions list manager Dom Ambrogio said Brisbane had been interested in Cockatoo since his draft year.
“Nakia is a talented footballer who brings power, speed and a competitive edge that we love,” Ambrogio said.
“His versatility is something that Chris (Fagan) will also utilise in the team with his ability to play several roles for us.’’
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