Young Lion following footsteps of famous cousin
JAKE Barrett feels fortunate to be able to lean on cousin Luke Breust.
The one-time GWS midfielder is being moulded into the Brisbane Lions' very own version of the three-time premiership Hawk - a small forward who provides pressure and kicks the odd goal.
"Since I've been playing small forward I talk to him more than ever, getting a few tips here and there," Breust told News Regional.
"Pretty much after every game he's texting me asking me 'how'd you go', 'what did you do'."
Both Barrett, 21, and Breust, 26, grew up in Temora, in the Riverina area of New South Wales.
"It's handy having him already in the AFL system to give you a bit of advice along the way," Barrett said.
"We're pretty close ... it's good having him only a phone call away.
"He said 'get out and do what you do best - tackling and putting pressure on'."
They're the aspects he brought from his early days as a rugby league player.
"I definitely gave league a good crack early on," he said.
"But once I got playing it (Aussie rules), I realised how much I loved it and kept pursuing it."
Barrett is also second cousin of NRL great and current Manly Sea Eagles coach Trent Barrett, who was happy to see Jake excel in any sport.
"If you wanted to play soccer, he was happy," Jake said.
"I don't talk to him as much but he definitely gave me a few phone calls to see how I was going.
"Manly are going pretty well this year - not as many injuries, which is good."
Barrett graduated from the Giants academy in 2013 but only played one senior game in his three seasons with the AFL start-up.
"It was just hard to get into the team. But at the end of the year they did say if I didn't have anywhere to go they were going to put me back on for another year (as a rookie)," he said.
"It was good having that reassurance but I had a good feeling that I was going somewhere, and I'm really glad the Lions gave me the opportunity."
Barrett was invited to Brisbane last November by new head coach Chris Fagan, before drafting him.
"He (Fagan) is great. He's very honest. He gives you the feedback that you need," he said.
"I really like that about him."
Barrett has now played seven games as Lion, highlighted by a 10-tackle display in round three. He also kicked a couple of goals against Hawthorn and Adelaide in rounds eight and nine.
"I'm loving it up there, really starting to get the hang of it," he said of being part of a young forward line alongside Eric Hipwood.
"I'm starting to get a bit more dangerous too, not just just tackling."