The Brisbane Lions, apparently fed up with being the laughing stocks of the AFL, have decided to maintain a business-as-usual approach to the Toyota 2018 AFL Premiership competition by standing pat with the formula that has produced the vat of hot water in which they currently find themselves.
They did add Luke Hodge to their list following last year’s securing of the spoon, but Hodge was not asked to participate with the leadership group in any fashion.
What leadership Hodge does supply will be strictly of the sort a veteran presence can supply to the young Lions list as a playing mentor.
Brisbane will stick with Dayne Beams as their skipper. The rest of the leadership group will be made up by Stefan Martin, Ryan Lester, Harris Andrews, Dayne Zorko and Allen Christensen.
A mentoring role for Hodge does seem appropriate, and when he took the offer from the Brisbane Lions following the 2017 season, it was generally assumed that his on ground time would be limited, in order to preserve what fuel the soon-to-be 34-year-old has remaining in his tank and that he would be groomed for an eventual coaching role when he does hang up his boots.
Beams, possibly breathing a collective sigh of relief that his captain’s role has not been usurped by Hodge, told The Courier-Mail, “The last three months since we’ve come back, we’ve worked really well as a collective,” he said of the group. “It hasn’t just been myself or someone else, it’s been a real collective approach to things. “We’ve all been driving standards and driving the culture. Weight in numbers is the best thing you can have at a footy club.”
Beams was quick to throw in some praise for Hodge.
“My perception of him before he came here was that he was a courageous player who led by example. He’s a really good on-field coach and he’s going to be really good for our young backline. When you get to know him, he’s also a really good person and a genuine guy.”
Collective sigh of relief on our end, learning that the four-time premiership winner is not a bad person or a fake guy.