A COVID-19 interrupted VFL season has come to an end for the Brisbane Lions, with the AFL announcing the end of the home and away season.
With a season-long focus on driving the growth of their developing and Academy players in the competitive VFL environment, the young Lions side battled hard against more mature and experienced opponents, with plenty of positives to take from a tough season.
Leading one of the youngest sides in the competition, VFL Head Coach Mitch Hahn said that he was really pleased with how the team took hold of the opportunities when they were presented to them, despite the challenging nature of the season.
“For us this season was always going to be a little bit of the unknown,” Hahn said.
“It was really the first time that 22 teams had been brought together in the VFL and no-one was quite sure exactly how it was all going to pan out.
“We went into it with one of the youngest sides of the competition and our real driving philosophy of the season was to push the development of our players.
“Although the score line this season wasn’t quite what we would have been hoping for, we’ve been really pleased with the way everyone seized the opportunities they’ve had in front of them.
“Throughout the season our Academy boys had the chance to train with the Lions squad up to two times a week, and even though they might have only gotten nine or 10 games, we saw a real growth and development in their game through the course of the season.
“And then the injuries in the senior list gave opportunities to some of the younger AFL listed guys to step up.
“Guys like Jaxon Prior, Keidean Coleman, Dev Robertson, Rhys Mathieson, they were all able to step up and play their role when they were given the opportunity and that’s really what we want to see coming out of the program.”
Hahn also credits the team-first ethos of the club as something that’s been key to the growth and development of the club’s younger players.
“It’s been a challenging year, particularly for a lot of our younger guys,
“But I have to commend our AFL listed players for the environment they helped create for our development players this season.
“We had such a young side and for them to not only get to train alongside guys like Dan and Lachie, but for guys of their calibre to welcome them into the club and support them played a huge part in why we were able to start the season so strong.”