The Lions NEAFL side remain undefeated as they head into the bye and Coach Mitch Hahn believes this is down to the senior players’ efforts and attitude.
Ryan Bastinac led by example in Saturday afternoon’s win against the Gold Coast, with 38 disposals, one goal and four tackles. Allen Christensen had 33 disposals and six tackles. Ryan Lester also had 33 tackles and two tackles.
“They’ve been terrific for us all year,” Hahn told lions.com.au.
“There’s been a lot of leadership progression through the year.”
The most pleasing aspect for him, is the trio’s willingness to teach younger players on the team, including Tom Joyce and Tom Berry.
“They bring others into the game,” Hahn said.
“That’s what really important, that they educate out there.”
Hahn said it’s his and the other development coaches’ role to make sure their players are putting pressure on the AFL team in the hope of securing a call up.
The biggest challenge they face is making the gap between AFL and NEAFL standard smaller. Jacob Allison was the most recent NEAFL player to be elevated to the senior group.
Hahn and his coaching staff pore over GPS running data, encourage intensive training and competitiveness when the group play 18 v 18 against the AFL players.
“It’s great to be able to see those guys like Jacob go up and play and contribute, so again the challenge is always how do we get that gap closer,” Hahn said.
“The trademark for us this year as a NEAFL group is playing at an AFL standard.”