Proving that sanity still has its place in Queensland, the Brisbane Lions have declared that they will continue to build their list through the draft, rather than mortgage their future to lure an established player from another side.
Long-term vision is not frequently found in abundance when it comes to sports teams that are eager to provide a quality product that will encourage fans to fill stadiums.
Brisbane has been on the ebb side of the equation for a while now and the will explore the delisted free agency period to find a mature midfielder or other position, but they do not want to give up a raft of high draft choices to find a big name.
The Lions have surrendered Tom Rockliff to Port Adelaide, but they now have locker room maturity provided by Luke Hodge and it seems likely that they will pick up Charlie Cameron from the Adelaide Crows, so the average age of their list will go up, but they will still have the youngest list in the league.
The Lions need to see a leap in the development of Eric Hipwood, Harris Andrews and Dan McStay and the Lions’ strategy is to build a midfield that can develop alongside these key position players.
Brisbane had a good draft last year, using four top-24 picks to sign Jarrod Berry and Hugh McCluggage, along with halfbacks Alex Witherden and Cedric Cox. The year prior, it was Rhys Mathieson via the draft that added to the cause.
This year’s national draft looks to offer the Lions hope for a solid long-term future. They have picks one, 12, 18 as compensation from Port for Rockliff and pick 19.
They may have to surrender a pick to secure Cameron.
Lions Football manager David Noble said that there were ongoing discussions with a big name, but he would not reveal that name. He further said that if that deal does not come to fruition, they would not participate in a bidding war for any player at the trade table.