In his maiden AFL Grand Final, Lions veteran Marcus Ashcroft’s first kick for the afternoon was a goal.
It couldn’t have come at a more critical time. The Lions trailed Essendon by 15 points at the start of the second half, with Ashcroft’s goal putting them within single digits.
Ashcroft, a Brisbane veteran who played 318 games for the Bears/Lions reflected at length to LionsTV as part of their Premiership Pride series.
He remembers a dodgy bounce, then booting the Sherrin from well outside 50
“The kick wasn’t a good kick off the boot but luckily Alastair Lynch was in the goal square and
“The trend of the game was starting to go our way. We were behind at half time and that was the first goal after the main break. I guess it gave us great belief we were heading in the right direction,” he said.
The Lions went on to boot another five goals in the “Premiership Quarter” and defeated the Bombers 26 points to claim their maiden premiership.
Only three years before, Ashcroft was part of the 1998 Brisbane team that finished with the wooden spoon.
“You’re lucky enough just to get a game in the grand final but to kick a goal is an added bonus,” he says.
Ashcroft went on to win another two consecutive premierships with the same group and says the confidence and faith his teammates instilled in each other was integral to their success.
“I think the way I played and the way my teammates played especially in that year, we’d back ourselves because it helped us play good footy and win games of footy.”
The Brisbane Lions Premiership Pride series will feature throughout September on lions.com.au. Stay tuned for more interviews and stories from former Lions' greats that featured in our premiership three-peat.