BELIEF TO ROAR: Brisbane confident of finals push this year
AUSSIE RULES: It's the f word the Brisbane Lions have been afraid to talk about for the past few years.
But now Lions midfielder Mitch Robinson is asking if other young teams can make the finals, why can't they.
Robinson was one of five Lions players along with Charlie Cameron, Corey Lyons, Hugh McLuggage and Archie Smith who visited Bundaberg for clinics and school visits over the past two days.
He said it was good to visit the region that produced Brisbane Lions AFL women player Emma Zielke.
"It's been good to get up to Bundy,” Robinson said.
"The kids are enthused and enjoying it.
"It is (nice to see), especially the female side of things. Participation is going through the roof.”
The Lions have had similar feelings during what has been a tough preseason.
The side is buoyed by what could happen this season with plenty of experts outside of the club walls predicting the Lions could play finals.
Robinson played five finals for Carlton before moving to Brisbane and said the aim was to get as close as possible to finals.
"Everyone is genuinely excited this year,” he said.
"That expectation from us to climb the ladder feels real and we are kind of enjoying that and want to push up the ladder.
"There is no ceiling to what we can do this year.”
Robinson said if other young sides, such as the Western Bulldogs in 2016 and Collingwood last year, could make the grand final, there was no reason the Lions could not.
"I think it is more belief that if they can do it, we can do it too,” he said.
"We're looking forward to (hopefully) improving this year.”
The 168-game player said the way the Lions would do that was through one area.
"This year for us we just want to improve in a lot of aspects of the game,” he said.
"And defence is one of our things.
"We want to lower that gap between our big losses.”
The midfielder added he expected Lions rookie Ryan Bastinac to be one of the surprise packets this season after a strong preseason from the former North Melbourne player.
Robinson said he was looking forward to starting the season with a preseason match against Gold Coast before taking on Hawthorn and Richmond in the JLT Series.
The side begins its AFL campaign against the West Coast Eagles on March 23 at the Gabba.
There is more from the trip in tomorrow's paper with pictures from school visits.