Over the next few weeks Dyson Baker will take a look at how every club has fared this year, exactly where every club is at in terms of development and of course how far away each club is from Premiership success.
Currently: 15th, 2 wins & 11 losses, 77.1%
At the end of the 2009 season the Lions were flying high, coming of a Semi-Final finish to the year, Brisbane was full of confidence, so to their coach. Michael Voss became the most active man in trade week picking up 5 mature players including Carlton Full-forward Brendan Fevola, an experiment that went horribly wrong.
Fast forward to 2011 and the coach has admitted his mistake quite clearly. Voss has injected youth into the Lions line up demonstrating the air of change that Brisbane has begun a rebuild stage of their cycle. As their ladder position suggests, Brisbane have found wins hard to come by so far this season, with only the 2 wins over North Melbourne and Adelaide.
The Lions went down in their first game at home to the Dockers by 2 points and more importantly lost their skipper, Jonathon Brown, with a facial fracture and Brent Staker with a severe knee injury. They then travelled to Melbourne to take on the Bulldogs who handed them a 78 point loss. The next five weeks were positive without a win for the Lions, narrow losses to Melbourne, St Kilda and Gold Coast pleasing coach Michael Voss in terms of the effort from his younger brigade. Rounds 9 and 10 saw the return of key Forward Jonathon Brown and the Lions return to the winners list with a tight victory against North Melbourne, followed by a hard fought win over the Crows.
After big losses to the Swans and Carlton in consecutive weeks, the Lions showed against both Richmond and Fremantle that finishing games has been an issue, dropping both games after holding the lead late in the game. However with a couple of winnable games coming up in the next month, the Lions have the opportunity to boost their position. With Mitch Clark proving his worth up forward for the lions and their Ruck combination a fierce duo in training the lions are showing many positive signs.
Prediction: 14th, 6 wins & 16 losses, 81.1%
Going Forward: The Brisbane Lions are heading on the right track and should be in finals within the next 2 years. Michael Voss will need to show the Brisbane faithful success in order to keep his position beyond the end of 2012. Redden, Rockliff and Rich have shown that the future of the Lions midfield is safe. Brisbane will need to top up in the coming years and as Brown ages, they will be in need of a second key Forward and also a centre half back with marking ability who can give Full-back Daniel Merrett a chop out.
Over the next 3 years expect, Brown, Black and Power to call the end on stellar careers, not far behind them Lions recruits Maguire, Raines, and Buchannan. Brisbane must continue to focus as they have done on younger players, in order to develop a list that will be sustainable with success for years to come, they have the talent in their core group of young players but need to nurture that in to ensure they become quality AFL footballers.
Premiership Window: 2015-2020