Sport

Brisbane Lions launch campaign for 2013

THE Brisbane Lions aren't getting carried away by their impressive finish to the 2012 season.

The club, which won its last three games to make it 10 wins and a 13th-place finish, launched its campaign for 2013 this week, with half the group heading to Arizona for altitude training and the other half staying on in Brisbane.

And while building players' fitness would be the focus of the next few weeks, the Lions have targeted areas they need to work on to maintain the rage - namely upping their forward-50m entries to give themselves a chance to kick more winning scores.

In order to do that, the Lions' assistant coach in charge of ball movement, Adrian Fletcher, said "we've got to improve decision-making, and we've got to make sure we can operate in congestion as well".

Brisbane had the dubious honour of topping the clangers table in 2012 (averaging 50 per game), and, in turn, ranked ahead of only GWS (38), Gold Coast (42), Melbourne (45) and Port Adelaide (46) when it came to 'inside-50s'.

"Winning 10 games gives us a good launching pad, (but) it's not guaranteed that you're going to improve," Fletcher said.

A former midfield ball magnet who played 107 games for the Bears and Lions between 1993 and 1997 and is now in his sixth year as an assistant, Fletcher has stayed on in Brisbane with the rest of the coaching staff to oversee the club's younger players.

The more senior members of the list - those with four or more years experience - have touched down in the US, where they will be based at Flagstaff for two weeks and under the guidance of Lions strength and conditioning coach Matt Hass.

"It's a great opportunity. Obviously every pre-season that you do it puts strain on your body and you can get fitter quicker in Arizona," Fletcher said.

"The altitude helps you do that. You don't have to do the volume you do when you're in Australia."

Among the overseas group of 18 are new recruits Brent Moloney and Stefan Martin, and Fletcher said the ex-Demon pair would be welcome additions.

He said Moloney, 27, had "power" and would complement young midfield guns Daniel Rich, Jack Redden and Tom Rockliff, while Martin, 25, playing as the ruck-forward would free Daniel Merrett up to return to defence on a more permanent basis.

Fletcher said it was important "to get the spine right"."Good teams have good spines," he said. "'Roger' gives us that at full-back."

Topics:  afl, brisbane lions


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