Finals starved Lions hungry for more - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Finals starved Lions hungry for more

By Laine Clark 23/07/2009 02:24:21 PM Comments (0)

For years, Jonathan Brown didn't know how good he had it.

After his first five seasons in the AFL, the Brisbane Lions key forward had three premierships and four grand final appearances on his resume.

They say all good things must come to an end - but Brown is still ruing just how abruptly it happened.

"I was blessed as a young fella to play in grand finals in pretty much my first few years - I thought it was normal," Brown said.

"But I think we've worked out in the last few years it's not normal.

"The main thing that drives me now is to get back into those big games.

"I've certainly got a hell of a lot of motivation for the next few weeks.

"We want to taste that again. That's what we play footy for."

By their calculations, two more wins will end five years of pain for the Lions.

But it won't satisfy Brown.

Out of AFL finals action since 2004, the fifth-placed Lions (10-6 record) hope to take another step toward guaranteeing a top eight spot against the Kangaroos at the Gabba on Saturday night.

However, finals-starved Brown is hungry for more from a rejuvenated Lions team he believes only ranks outside ladder frontrunners St Kilda and Geelong.

"The next goal is to get to that 12 win mark (to guarantee a finals finish)," Brown said.

"Hopefully we get that in the next fortnight and then you can re-assess.

"We might be able to so something more than just be an also-ran in the top eight.

"We've just got to get over that hurdle which is in reaching distance, no doubt, and then you never know what we can do for the rest of the year.

"We know we're around the mark, apart from obviously St Kilda and Geelong (who have) cleared out (on the AFL ladder)."

Brown has been heartened by Brisbane's last round 15-point win over lowly Fremantle - a victory he surprisingly rates up there with their 2009 victories over last year's grand finalists Hawthorn and Geelong.

"From a club perspective the win was probably just as satisfying as any we've had this year," Brown told the Lions website.

"It probably wasn't received with the same sort of elation as our victories over last year's grand finalists ... but it proved that we could grind out wins against sides that we were probably expected to beat.

"It is no secret that last year we managed to find a way to lose games that we were in a position to win.

"The group made a point during the pre-season to rectify this and we've come a long way to proving that we are a bit more mentally mature this season and not so willing to cough up a valuable four points."

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