Brisbane Lions big man Archie Smith became the first player in competition history to win three NEAFL flags in on Sunday in the Lions 79-point triumph over defending premier Southport.
But the cumulation of his success over three premiership teams isn’t as good as winning this year’s cup with this Lions group, according to Smith.
“I’ve seen all the highs and lows of this club and it means absolutely everything to me,” Smith told neafl.com.au post-game.
“I know we all want to be playing AFL, but to represent this club at any level and to win three flags - a lot of people don’t get to win one.
"I’m over the moon, I’m so happy to be a part of this group.”
The 24-year-old enjoyed a fierce ruck battle with dual-flag Shark Jed Turner - who was also aiming for his third NEAFL flag - winning 42 disposals to Turner's 32 along with 13 disposals.
A basketball convert who debuted with Mt Gavatt and the Lions Academy in 2013, Smith was a member of the Lions' first premiership that season as an 18-year-old in what was his first full season of football at any level.
Smith was listed by Brisbane in the following AFL Rookie Draft and has developed significantly through the NEAFL and AFL since then. He was a key cog in the Lions’ momentous 2017 premiership campaign when they beat Sydney in a heart-stopping three-point win at the SCG.
Smith re-signed with Brisbane until the end of 2021 during the season, but with top-flight consistency on the agenda for the future, he is just excited to be involved in a rapidly rising club at all levels.
“It’s such a talented group, all these boys deserve it; everyone who stepped in, everyone who missed out today, the coaches, everyone," he said.
"This has just been such an amazing year for the club all around and I’m so happy to be part of it.
“Our mantra all year was, “we’ve got to play at AFL standard, no matter what we do, we can’t slip and play below it. That’s something that’s instilled in us.
"A win’s a win and we’ve had a great year in the seniors and a great year in the (NEAFL). Winning three (flags) doesn’t mean as much to me as winning with these boys.”