A severely undermanned Lions outfit went down 9.19 (73) to 8.7 (55) in wet and heavy conditions with Keidean Coleman the best for the home team.
Coleman collected a team high 28 disposals, kicked two goals and laid eight tackles in a performance that was sure to have caught the eye of senior coach Chris Fagan.
Fagan joined a large group of Lions players as spectators at the Southpine Sports Complex while Rhys Mathieson doubled-up from his AFL game the previous evening to run the water.
There was also a host of Lions AFLW premiership players on hand to cheer Connor McFadyen on in his return to action.
The 20-year-old played mostly as a half forward in the Lions 18-point loss to Coburg on Sunday and kicked two goals from 16 disposals in an encouraging display.
McFadyen’s partner is premiership player Nat Grider and he has been a regular at AFLW games this season.
Lions coach Mitch Hahn said it was a testament to McFadyen’s attitude and commitment to his rehabilitation that he was able to return after just 10 months following his reconstruction.
“He’ll be heaps better for the run, he gassed out a bit towards the end which is to be expected,’’ he said.
“But it was a great day for him, he looked really dangerous at times and will continue to improve as he builds match fitness.
“And it was nice to see Nat and some of the other girls there cheering him on and also to have Fages and a lot of the senior players there.
“It says a lot about our club to have Matho running the water and so many others come out in those conditions to support the VFL.’’
Hahn said Coleman, who was drafted as a forward, was enjoying the opportunity to play in the midfield in the VFL because of the shortage of numbers.
The Lions had 11 listed players, mostly first and second year and 11 development players in the side and Hahn said while they were beaten by the bigger stronger bodies in the contest, it was another encouraging performance from the likes of Saxon Crozier, Tahj Abberley, Toby Triffett, Will Tasker and Bruce Reville.
“He (Coleman) was very good, it was tough in those wet, heavy conditions and he stood out,’’ he said.
“The opposition with their bigger bodies were too strong in those conditions but it was a good learning for us and another great opportunity for our developments players.
“Those boys are playing every week and doing a great job for us.’’