GUN Brisbane Lions ruckman Jamie Charman is the first to admit that things around the football club aren't fantastic, but that hasn't prevented 2009 being a season he'd rather forget.
The 27-year-old Queenslander has been with the Lions during the glory years and more recently been there as a part of the side that failed to make the finals.
However, this season he has been a spectator for most of the campaign, playing just three matches.
“I got an ankle injury in round four and have ended up with an ankle reconstruction,” he said.
“It has been disappointing.”
During his rehabilitation Charman has been able to return to the sport in which he excelled as a junior.
“I have been doing lots of swimming to keep me fit, cardio wise,” he explained.
“I used to swim at state level until I was 17 or 18.”
Charman is recovering now and is full of enthusiasm for the way the club has made the transition from the Leigh Matthews era through to the new coaching regime under Michael Voss.
“I think we have a new energy about the club,” he said.
“Not taking anything away from Leigh Matthews but Vossy has just come away from playing the game and has a fresh approach to coaching and new training techniques.”
Having joined the Lions in 2000 and making his debut the following season, Charman has seen players come and go, for whatever reason, but reckons the present bunch of youngsters at the club are good value.
“The young guys are the most professional bunch I've seen in a long time,” he said.
“A great group of personalities.
“They also have a hunger to learn.”
Charman is in little doubt that the Lions are going to be up for a premiership challenge, if not this year, then in the near future.
Watching from the stand he has seen the way the team has been going this year and admires their fighting qualities but wishes they wouldn't dig a hole for themselves.
“We've put in some poor first quarter performances and then had to fight back,” he observed.
“It is good to see them fight back but you don't want to be giving an opposition too much of a head start like we have in some matches.
“I can see much more improvement in this team for next year.”
And does Charman see himself as a part of the future for the Lions?
“I've got two more years with the Lions,” he said.
“After that anything else is a bonus.”
Being a Queenslander he does not see himself leaving the state but is not too sure what path he will take when the body says that is enough.
“A lot of guys say they won't stay in the game, but they do as that is what they are good at,” he said.
On Wednesday night Charman was the special guest of AFL Capricornia's awards night.
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