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Lions boss embraces AFL hype

Brisbane chief executive Greg Swann says the pieces are in place for the rebuilding AFL club to edge closer to a finals return.

Lions boss embraces AFL hype

Brisbane chief executive Greg Swann says the pieces are in place for the rebuilding AFL club to edge closer to a finals return.

CHRIS FAGAN, Senior Coach of the Lions looks on during the Brisbane Lions AFL pre-season training session at University of Tasmania Stadium in Launceston, Australia.
CHRIS FAGAN, Senior Coach of the Lions looks on during the Brisbane Lions AFL pre-season training session at University of Tasmania Stadium in Launceston, Australia. Picture:Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images

Brisbane might not have started the hype, but they're happy to embrace it as they entertain a rise up the AFL ladder this year.

That's how Lions chief executive Greg Swann sees it ahead of next week's Gabba season opener against defending champions West Coast.


Chris Fagan's side won just five games last year, but lost as many by less than seven points, started their campaign with eight straight defeats and boasted a telling percentage of 89.1.

The inclusion of Fremantle's Lachie Neale, Geelong's Lincoln McCarthy, Western Bulldogs' Marcus Adams and Gold Coast's Jarryd Lyons has fostered further hope of a Lions revival that Swann says is about due.

"We're embracing that (hype), we're not generating it ourselves but we genuinely think we've improved," he told AAP.

"We've tried to accept that people are going to talk us up a little bit and internally we want to start winning more games."

History suggests Brisbane will need roughly eight more victories than last year to sneak into the finals for the first time since 2009.

Brisbane's mettle passed the test on Saturday in a physical pre-season defeat of Melbourne, who were close to full strength and equal-third favourites to win this year's flag.

Swann said that performance gave them confidence ahead of the clash with the Eagles but the enhanced experience in the group meant a loss to the reigning premiers wouldn't bring all the good work undone.

"It was good hit out against a genuine top four team, but we do play the premiers in round one and that's the start of the journey," he said.

"We've been in a development phase for a few years now and with those additions plus another preseason under the young blokes' belts there's a good feel around the club.

"But (playing finals) is a big leap; we just want to be winning more games."

With an Easter Thursday Gabba clash with Collingwood one of three Brisbane matches to be shown on free-to-air television this season, Swann also sees an opportunity to build the Lions brand.

"We've got some exciting players in our club and it will be good to showcase them a bit more," he said.

"Linc (McCarthy) is a genuinely good player who's just had no luck with his body.

"Everybody touches wood when they talk about Linc.

"It'd be good for us and him to show the world how good he is."

AAP


AAP




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