The upside of being as bad as Brisbane has been in recent years: it’s hard to miss repeatedly when you’re picking at the top of the draft so often, and the pride is steadily being restocked. Eric Hipwood (right), Hugh McCluggage, Alex Witherden and Jarrod Berry have come through, and add to that this year’s no.1 overall pick, big forward-going midfielder Cameron Rayner.
Coach Chris Fagan earned plaudits for his first year at the Lions, bringing the right kind of temperament to the task of developing a young outfit. He landed some high-profile help in the offseason when he lured his old Hawthorn colleague Luke Hodge up north. It’s a fascinating career epilogue for the dual Norm Smith winner, and however it might turn out, the Lions will stand to benefit from Hodge’s presence. He wasn’t named in the leadership group, but it was almost beside the point. “He still sits in on all our leadership meetings,” incumbent captain Dayne Beams told the club’s website.
Former Crow Charlie Cameron, who wanted to return home to Queensland, will make for another useful addition. Where the Lions can really stand to improve is defensively, where they were last in the league again in 2017.
Improbable scenario: The Lions’ young players start talking about their memories of the treble.