HARROW football product Michael Close has caught the eye of AFL media personalities as he continues his breakout season with the Brisbane Lions.
Close kicked two goals and played a crucial role in the Lions' win against Melbourne at the weekend.
He kicked a goal after the quarter-time siren to level the scores, and kicked a crucial goal to put Brisbane ahead for good with less than 10 minutes remaining in the last quarter.
Close's performance drew praise from media personalities Garry Lyon and Damian Barrett on afl.com.au's Access All Areas feature.
Lyon, who once coached Close at under-16 level, said he and the other Brisbane forwards had lifted their performance.
"Since Jonathan Brown retired, I reckon the rest of that group looked at each other and said 'righto, time to stand up'," he said.
"I think Close over the past three weeks has been really good, and what he does also is go back and kick goals."
Close has now appeared in seven consecutive games after debuting in round one and being in and out of the side early in the season.
In his seven straight games, he has booted eight goals.
Close's consistent form has mirrored that of the Lions, which have won five of their past nine matches.
Close said the team had not yet produced its best football, but was looking to finish the season strongly.
"It's good to be able to have a contribution towards the result," he said.
"It was a good feeling to kick the goal that put us in front in the last quarter after a good pass from Joel Patfull.
"Those kicks inside 50 have been a problem for us all year, but in the last quarter it just clicked and we were able to find some easy kicks inside 50."
Close said he had received more opportunities since Lions champion Brown's retirement.
"It's left a spot vacant for someone to take and I've been able to fill it, but he's had a big impact on how I've been going," he said.
"Each week I go through my tapes and chat to him about training, about where I should be running and how I should be using my body, so he's been a big influence on my game."