I wanted to thank you for another year of unwavering support for the Brisbane Lions. We really do have the best members and fans in the competition.
We had our challenges with injury in 2021 but were able to claim our third consecutive top four finish in the home and away season.
When I look back at my career so far, I still have to pinch myself how far we have come since Chris Fagan joined us as Senior Coach five years ago.
It was tough watching the Demons and Bulldogs battle it out for the premiership knowing we came so close to advancing to a Preliminary Final and the chance to push for our first Grand Final berth since 2004.
While it was a disappointing way to finish, I agreed totally with Fages when he said he thought this had been our best year so far.
The performances against last year’s Grand Finalists Richmond in round 10 and Geelong after the bye in round 15, was some of the best football we have played.
It was a season in which we were challenged in ways we hadn’t been before. In 2020 we enjoyed more time at home as the competition relocated to Queensland, but this year the tables were turned and we bounced around from state to state, often spending long periods in hotel room lockdown. And after a golden run with injury the previous couple of seasons, we had some rotten luck this campaign.
We lost Cam Rayner and Eric Hipwood to ACL injuries, Darcy Gardiner missed a large chunk of the season and Lachie Neale, Jarrod Berry and Marcus Adams also spent considerable time on the sidelines.
The silver lining was that guys like Keidean Coleman, Deven Robertson and Jaxon Prior got to play plenty of senior football and all those guys showed they have bright futures at our Club.
As Captain, I saw a new level of resilience forming within our playing group and I think that will hold us in good stead.
We have a good Draft hand to bring some new talent to our Club and Cam Rayner and Noah Answerth will be like new recruits, having not played a senior game in 2021.
My great mate Daniel Rich earning his first All Australian blazer in his 13th season shows that every player, regardless of the stage of their careers, can find ways to improve.
Even though we’re on leave, the Gabba gym is never empty which tells me the boys all feel the same way.
That makes me incredibly excited for next year.
Our promise to you is that we’ll be back bigger and better than ever before and looking to go all in, in 2022.
And we hope you will continue to come along for the ride.