Big lion ready for Fox Footy's couch
WITH the addition of AFL goliath Jonathan Brown, Fox Footy flagship On The Couch will have a very different dynamic this season.
Joining fellow former heavyweight forward Jason Dunstall, the three-time Brisbane Lions premiership player will fill the spot on the sofa left vacant by veteran scribe Mike Sheahan.
Brown, who retired last season after playing 256 games and kicking 594 goals, jokingly told APN: "I think they'll have to widen the couch to fit myself and Dunstall on to it."
But, though physically dwarfed by the imposing figure of Brown, Sheahan, himself, has been a giant in the media industry, and been integral to the success of On The Couch during its first 13 years on-air.
Brown knows they will be big shoes to fill - figuratively speaking - while he discusses the major footy issues each Monday night with Dunstall and long-time host Gerard Healy.
"He's a legendary figure in AFL journalism," the 33-year-old said of Sheahan.
"I'm certainly not going to come in and be a journalist. My influence will obviously be a recently retired player's perspective. I know the game intimately. I know the way sides play.
"But, I'll be trying to catch up with Mike a bit during the year to get a bit of advice."
Brown can start when he becomes Sheahan's first guest of the season on Open Mike, which immediately follows On The Couch.
Brown, of course, is no stranger to television. He's been a popular panellist on Channel 9's The Footy Show where he often mixed his pull-no-punches attitude with a likable laidback, down-to-earth nature.
He said getting the gig on On The Couch "was certainly a big carrot to draw me away from The Footy Show".
"I was at Channel 9 for 10 years and they'd been very good to me. I really enjoyed my time there," he said.
"But, it was one of those things - I'm retired and was looking for a bit more of an expanded role."
Brown said he was excited to also be a part of the Fox Footy commentary team, particularly on Friday nights, and working alongside the likes of Dermott Brereton.
"Dermie's always got plenty of tips," Brown said. "He's a good fella. He was one of my idols as a young centre-half forward growing up."
While Brown will also help fill the void left by Michael Voss' return to coaching ranks with Port Adelaide, he doesn't expect to follow his former captain down the same off-field path any time soon.
"I've seen how hard all the coaches work at the footy club, so I think I'd prefer to stay in the media," he said with a laugh, before adding, "I've got a young family, so it gives me the opportunity to still work, but also have enough time at home."
On The Couch returns to Fox Footy on Monday at 7.30pm Qld, 8.30pm NSW.