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Lions 'let go' horror 2010 - Black

Laine Clark 14/03/2011 06:59:32 PM Comments (0)

One of the darkest chapters in Brisbane Lions history has been officially closed, according to veteran Simon Black.

The fallout from the Brendan Fevola deal may be felt at the AFL club for years to come, but Black said the players had "let go" of the baggage of 2010 and were looking at the next season with optimism.

On the field, 2010 was a shocker for the Lions.

After winning the first four games, they suffered a horror 3-15 run that relegated them to a 13th place season finish.

But the real damage was caused off the field.

In a nightmare pre-season, the Lions were forced to sack two players - Fevola and Albert Proud - for off-field behaviour.

Fevola's payout added to existing salary cap issues that will may hinder the Lions from compiling a premiership list for "up to five years", according to football manager Dean Warren.

No wonder the Lions only wanted to look ahead in 2011, not back.

"The feeling around the place now is that we have let go of 2010," Black said in Brisbane on Monday.

"And we have let go of the stuff in the pre-season that hasn't been great for the club.

"As a group we have had a terrific three or four month training period - we are really united.

"And we are pretty firm on each other on the ground these days, last year we probably weren't hard enough on each other as a group.

"We are setting new standards for each other and ourselves and making sure we live up to them."

While he admitted to concern about their depth in the forward line following Fevola's departure, Black said there were plenty of reasons to smile when looking at the Lions player list.

The likes of Daniel Rich (46 games), James Polkinghorne (39) and Jack Redden (32) are nearing the 50-game mark this year - a milestone previous coach Leigh Matthews likened to a coming of age for a player.

Another in that bracket - emerging ruckman Matthew Leuenberger (44 games) - has taken on a whole new significance afterFevola's departure.

"If (Leuenberger) is not there it makes Mitch Clark play out of the forward line and into the ruck," Black said.

"We obviously don't have Fev there anymore so our big guys are extremely important for us.

"We haven't got a lot of depth like a lot of other sides but we believe our strongest side is very competitive."

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