Ryan Bastinac told Lions.com.au he feels honoured to be named as Captain for the NEAFL side as they meet the Southport Sharks in the Grand Final on Sunday afternoon.
Bastinac is in red hot form after a 39 disposal and two goal performance in their Preliminary Final win over Sydney.
“That’s where you want to play your best footy, in finals, not matter what level it is,” he said.
The 28-year-old said he has enjoyed acting as a mentor for the younger players in 2019.
“It’s good to lead the young boys out there in the big game,” he said.
“It’s been good to see the younger boys play each week and see them develop.”
The Lions are only able to play 16 listed players against Southport, a state league team, which means Hyundai Help for Kids Academy players Keidean Coleman, Darcy Marsh, Will Martyn, Noah Cumberland, Tom Matthews and Justin Currie called into the side. Unfortunately first and second year players Connor McFadyen, Toby Wooller, Tom Fullarton, Jack Payne, Thomas Berry and Ely Smith have been omitted.
Bastinac has full confidence that the Academy players can get the job done.
“They’ve been good all year when they’ve had to come in,” he said.
“The boys make them feel really comfortable out there. They ask a lot of questions and they’ll play a good part for us.”
The Lions have only met the Sharks once this year, in Round 18 where they defeated them by 20 goals. But Bastinac is excepting an entirely different game this weekend, with key players returning for the Sharks.
“I think it will be a totally different team,” he said.
“They will bring in new nine players so it will be a different type of game, but we’re up for the challenge. It will be good for us.”
Bounce is at 1pm at Fankhauser Reserve and entry is free.