Can the Brisbane Lions regain their roar?
Brisbane Lions players celebrate (Slattery Images)
With a successful first round showing against the Melbourne Demons, Brisbane are looking to shrug off the memories of a horror 2011 and build towards a positive 2012.
2011 was a year to forget for Lions coach Michael Voss.
In total the club notched just four wins. The Brendan Fevola experiment was scandal-ridden and short-lived, and captain courageous Jonathan Brown was ruled out not once but twice with a severe facial injury. This resulted in the fearless forward spending lengthy periods on the sidelines.
In his absence many new talented faces emerged in the squad and others such as Tom Rockliff, Daniel Rich and Jed Adcock were forced to take the leadership reigns. Though the group stumbled through a season that became infamous for late collapses and narrow losses, the Lions finished strongly. However, only now are AFL fans really starting to take notice.
Against the Dees, Rockliff continued to prove his worth bagging three goals in a small forward role, and regular fullback Daniel Merritt made the most of his stint up front to get two six-pointers of his own.
Jack Redden and sharp-shooter Patrick Karnezis are still growing but will prove to be key to Brisbane’s success this year.
Their upcoming opponents Carlton are coming off a big win against Richmond, however the Lions are not lining up as easybeats, having defeated the Blues by 64 points in the NAB Cup earlier this year.
Before tonight’s game at the Gabba, which is the team’s first home appearance of the season and the only AFL fixture of the day, Voss has called for his players to send out a warning to the competition, change popular opinion about the youthful squad and win over the fans.
If they play the positive football we saw them play in Melbourne, there’s little doubt they’ll get what they’re after.
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