Brisbane Lions seeking premiership redemption after last season’s disappointing exit from finals series
Still hurting from the “sour end” to their 2021 campaign, the Brisbane Lions have a renewed “hunger” to make amends by winning this year’s AFL premiership.
The Lions have finished in the top four for the past three seasons but in that time have won just one of six finals matches.
Last year’s straight sets exit particularly stings, and is driving the Lions not to waste another season in their “premiership window” period.
“It was a real sour end to last year – I know it hurt a lot of the boys,” Brisbane star Harris Andrews said.
“As a group we came together and said we want to do something about it, so the guys spent a lot of time in Brissie over the break training hard.
“We’ve got a really strong list at the moment. We broke that down a little bit when we came back to training, and identified that we’re right in that (premiership) window.
“The last three years we’ve been able to get into finals but haven’t been able to perform at that end of the year, and that’s been really disappointing, and where that hunger’s coming from.
“The boys are really hungry, training hard (and) working hard off the field to do everything they can to put us in the best position they can going into the season.”
The Lions’ flag hopes will be boosted by the return of former number one draft pick Cam Rayner, who missed the entirety of last season after rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee.
The 22-year-old Rayner was among the standouts in Friday’s intra-club match, in which he spent time in both the forward line and the midfield.
“It’s awesome for us as a playing group. I certainly get a real lift out of seeing him out there,” Andrews said of Rayner.
“We missed his presence last year but at the same time we recognise he’ll have had 12 months out of the game by time by the time we start playing games again, and you can’t expect him to jump straight back into it, and probably take off where he wanted to be last year.
“He’s worked really hard over the last nine or 10 months to get his body back to shape. I’m really excited about what he can achieve but I think it’s important to temper expectations early on and not put too much pressure on him as he makes his return.”
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