During Brisbane Lions golden era of premiership dominance midfielder Luke Power says the players were more than teammates; they were family.
“A lot of our players were from interstate so when we came together we became like family because that’s all we really had in Queensland, a lot of us,” he told Lions TV as part of their Premiership Pride series.
“I thought it was that that made us a better team.”
Power was drafted to Brisbane from Victorian club Oakleigh Chargers as the number 5 pick at the 1997 AFL Draft.
He would make his debut the following year, the same season the Lions were bestowed with the undesirable wooden spoon.
But only three years later Power would play a key part in Brisbane’s resolve to win the Club’s first premiership since they merged in 1996.
Power’s memory of the 2001 Grand Final against Essendon is hazy, despite kicking three goals for the afternoon.
“I can’t remember details too much, I haven’t looked back on it too much,” he admits.
“I’m sort of a bit of a believer that you’ve got to keep moving forward and I think that’s why we were able to have sustained success.”
The Bombers defeat was just the start of something special for the Lions. Following their first premiership that year, Brisbane reached three consecutive grand finals, claiming another two flags.
Power says the players shared the same mentality of constantly moving forward and improving.
“Because we didn’t get caught up on what happened the previous year. We were all focusing on what was in the future and how we could become better,” Power says.
“When you’ve got players like Voss, Black, Lappin, Akermanis, Brown, Lynch pushing each other at training every day it was pretty easy to do.”
The group became only the second team in AFL history to win three consecutive premierships. For Power it was not just a victory for the players, but for everyone involved in their success.
“We had great staff. I guess there were a lot of people around the Club, and there’s a lot who are probably still working at the Club, who go unrecognised in these things that make the culture of a footy club. And other people that make the Club worth coming to every day,” he says.
“The thing I enjoy most is when people or supporters or other players tell me how much enjoyment they got out of it. To be able to do it together is pretty special.”