Being a Brisbane Lions supporter over the past decade has been a very difficult thing to deal with. A list of troubles during this time span include consistently finishing in the lower reaches of the ladder – with only the one finals appearance coming in 2009, and players not wanting to play for the club. So it’s fair to say, life has been hard following the once powerful and strong Brisbane Lions.
However, ever since the appointment of Greg Swann as CEO, David Noble as general manager of football, and more recently Chris Fagan as coach of the club, times are changing and certainly moving in a more positive direction. This season, for instance, showcased a whole deal of promise despite only having the four wins to show for our efforts.
The competitiveness the boys displayed on a week-by-week basis was one that has been unseen since our last finals appearance in 2009. Other than blowout losses to Richmond (93-points, round 4), North Melbourne (54-points, round 11) and, we were competitive in every single other game. Although I will admit that we weren’t competitive for the full four quarters in every single one of our losses, which is an issue that is needed to be addressed for next season, the positive signs that we showed in these losses is encouraging to say the least.
More to evaluate than wins and losses
Of course, the media and those looking at the club from the outer will almost certainly be looking at the win-loss column as the ultimate factor in dictating how the Lions went in 2018, but from a fan’s perspective, the win-loss column is completely irrelevant, but rather the percentage column is more worthy. Brisbane’s percentage at the end of the 2018 season was 89.1%, higher than the side’s in 13-18 despite finishing in 15th place.
This indicates that despite the lack of wins, that our competitiveness was 100% there. As a fan, it was both encouraging and frustrating seeing the competitiveness shown from the boys despite losing the majority of our games, as it was clear that we had the talent and ability to win more games, but our inexperience and simple skill errors cost us more wins.
An exciting pride of cubs
This season also saw a wealth of new faces get blooded into the side, which included the likes of Cam Rayner, Zac Bailey, Brandon Starcevich and Matt Eagles, as well as the continual improvement from Harris Andrews, Hugh McCluggage, Alex Witherden, Jarrod Berry and Eric Hipwood to name a few. This core talent, who have all signed extensions recently to stay on with the club, are more reasons as to why this season was a success, and why the near-future, is looking as bright as ever. This season also saw the recruitment of Charlie Cameron and Luke Hodge of note to the club, putting Brisbane back on the map as a destination club.
Cameron had a superb season until his season-ending injury in round 11, whilst Hodge’s influence as an experienced premiership winner paid dividends for the young group and one which still hasn’t shown it’s full effect. The fact that Brisbane is now a destination club is proven in the talks of recent times which are linking Fremantle’s Lachie Neale to the club, all the more reason to feel positive being a Lions’ fan.
Bright days ahead
Overall, the season was one that was full of promise. Yes, it was very frustrating at stages knowing that we could have easily turned some of those losses into wins, but looking at the bigger picture, the promise that was shown is enough to say the season was a positive. The fact that the team is playing a brand that is far more competitive and exciting, despite the five wins, as well as now being a club that players want to come to, is why Lions’ fans should be excited by what the immediate future holds and why this season should be hailed as a huge success.
Are the Lions on the prowl? Let us know what you think in the comments and poll below or join the conversation on Facebook or Twitter. Can’t get enough Brisbane Lions news and views Read: 2018 Season Review – Brisbane Lions and The Hodge Effect.