NEAFL Coach Mitch Hahn says the Brisbane Lions appearance in Saturday’s Grand Final is just reward for their efforts this season.
“They’ve worked really hard,” Hahn said.
“We’ve had, as all clubs do, you have players go up and go down into Senior level. The attitude of the guys that have come back has been fantastic all year. We’re certainly expecting no different this weekend.”
After defeating Sydney University in the preliminary final, the Lions will meet the Sydney Swans at the SCG in the Big Dance.
Brisbane and Sydney have enjoyed a strong rivalry this year – with the Lions claiming two victories in their three meetings.
But the Swans will be on a mission come Saturday night. They’ve played in both 2014 and 2016 NEAFL Grand Final but went home empty-handed.
“They’ll certainly be coming out fired up,” Hahn says.
“We take a lot of belief in the process. We know we come up against a good, tough team in the Sydney Swans. They’ve been dominant all year in this competition. We’ve had some really good contests against them this year and we expect no different.
“There’s no secret to finals footy. You need to win the contested ball. That’s one of the Sydney Swans’ strengths.”
Hahn and his coaching staff are yet to decide who will have the honour of leading the Club in Saturday night’s Grand Final.
This season the Club have alternated the captaincy each NEAFL round.
“We have and we think that’s been a fantastic initiative for the development of our group. Considering we’re really young, for one of our players to take the responsibility each week we think that’s helped our development,” Hahn said.
The Club are thrilled with how far the NEAFL group have come in just twelve months, after only winning three games in the 2016 season.
“I think the whole Club should take credit for that. It starts with Chris Fagan and David Noble who have come in. We’ve had some new coaches brought in to the environment which has generated some real enthusiasm within the group.”
Hoisting the silverware on Saturday night against the Swans, would be icing on the cake.
“I think it would just be great for the Club, not only the group, but the whole football Club. I think it’s been a really successful year.
“Just for us to be able to finish that off would be fantastic. I mean, it’s going to be a lot of hard work against a team who have played in a lot of grand finals in previous years.”