Brown talks up Lions for top-four finish - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Brown talks up Lions for top-four finish

By Jim Morton 12/08/2009 07:53:59 PM Comments (0)

Jonathan Brown believes a return to the Gabba and a first finals finish in five years can propel the Brisbane Lions into an AFL top-four berth.

The Lions skipper and spearhead is genuinely excited about Brisbane's prospects after virtually sealing a place in the play-offs with their last-gasp draw with Essendon.

They meet the fourth-placed Western Bulldogs at the Gabba, the first of two matches in Brisbane, on Saturday with a top-four spot on the line.

With three rounds to go, Brown said the Lions can grab valuable momentum for September in their clashes with the Bulldogs, Port Adelaide and Sydney (away).

He pointed to their strong 7-2 record at the Gabba and the achievement in making the finals for the first time since 2004 in giving the rising outfit extra confidence and spark.

"This is the most exciting time of the year, August and September, when you're in with a chance," Brown said.

"We've really got to grab the opportunity with a lot of excitement.

"We want top four, that's what we're worried about. We know it's in our hands."

Brown admitted the Lions were happy to have back-to-back away games against Collingwood and Essendon at the MCG behind them.

"We haven't been jumping out of our skins in recent times so the group needs to bring that to the table in the next few weeks and on the back end of that we can play a lot better footy," he said

"We have played well at the Gabba. Three of our last four weeks have been away which has taken a bit of a toll.

"So it's great to get back out on the home deck for the next fortnight which should rejuvenate all the players."

Brown's first four years of senior football resulted in grand final appearances, resulting in three premierships.

After four barren years at the Gabba, he's not taking a finals finish for granted.

"It's not (easy), it's very hard to do," he said.

"Obviously I've appreciated it a hell of a lot more (this year), not being in those big games and this is what you play footy for.

"The guys are genuinely excited so hopefully our mindset has changed a little bit.

"When you've got that excitement it helps with your motivation at training and preparation leading into games and you know if you get those right the rest can take care of itself."

Brown backed the view of coach Michael Voss who said the Lions couldn't afford to think of controversial former Lion Jason Akermanis as anything more than a dangerous Bulldog on Saturday night.

"I just know he's one of their most important players, if not their most important," Brown said.

"He's their leading goalkicker (34) obviously and Aker can change the game in five minutes so we have to be very careful of that."

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