Anyone who watched the Brisbane Lions play at the Gabba in the back half of last season will tell you, the joint was rocking.
Coach Chris Fagan even admitted he’d previously had no idea just how much noise a passionate Lions supporter base could generate.
Midfielder Jarryd Lyons says while that atmosphere will be missed by the players, he reckons the way they play their home ground ensures they will still hold home ground advantage during the opening month when they play four in a row at the Gabba.
“That’s the biggest thing, no crowd makes a bit of a difference, but we played so well here last year we will take a lot of confidence out of that,’’ he said.
“The crowd was amazing last year, especially towards the back end of the year when they really got involved, but we play the ground really well.
“It is a bit of a different ground, a bit wider and it is quick when you move the ball really well.
“And we get the advantage of training here three days a week for the next few weeks so we’ll certainly get used to it again.’’
A new decibel record may have been set when the Lions defeated the Cats in a one-point thriller in round 22, courtesy of a Linc McCarthy screamer and goal in the dying moments against his old club.
Lyons says there’s no doubt the crowd played a part that day and says there could be a measurable factor to the home support in close games.
“You could account it for 15 to 20 percent, especially in a close game,’’ he said.
“I reckon that Geelong game last year when the crowd started to get involved, it really lifts you over the line.’’
With the competition to resume on June 11, every club is racing to regain match fitness after the Covid 19 isolation period.
Lyons says there may be some skill errors early in the early matches and believes the teams that adjust quickest will be the ones involved at the business end of the season.
“I think there will be cobwebs early, three or four weeks is a bit of time to blow them out at training but there is nothing like match play,’’ he said.
“We’ll try to get as much as that in as we can.
“ I think with the first couple of weeks, it will probably be the teams that hit the ground the quickest and get off the mark the quickest that might be the teams you see at the end of the year.’’