We rate the Brisbane Lions’ 2014 season.
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(15th: 7 wins, 15 losses)
What went right:
After a mass exodus of playing talent last year, many would have predicted the Lions to finish towards the bottom of the ladder.
However, their performances showed a bright future lies ahead for the club.
The Lions gave top eight sides a hard time all season – especially at home – and the excellent seasons from rookies Rising Star winner Lewy Taylor and James Aish gave Lions fans plenty to be excited about.
Tom Rockliff, Pearce Hanley and Dayne Zorko were all immense and led the way for the young side.
What went wrong:
The Lions were one of the most inconsistent sides in the competition without doubt, and won fewer quarters than any other team in the AFL.
Its failure to win the contested ball killed them in many games and a massive improvement is needed in that area if the Lions want to make a push back into finals contention.
Pearce Hanley, Stefan Martin and Dayne Zorko were very good, but Tom Rockliff was outstanding.
The 24-year-old has averaged 17 kicks and 32 disposals a game, and in the back-half of the season he took his game up a level.
Had he have been playing for a top eight club, Rockliff would have been mentioned as a chance for the Brownlow Medal.
With Rockliff, Hanley, Martin, Zorko, Taylor and Aish, the Lions now have something to build on.
Coach Justin Leppitsch has shown himself to be a tactically astute coach, but even he will admit he still has plenty to learn.
It’s only up from here and although a spot in the finals in 2015 looks a bit of a stretch, expect them to be in the mix in 2016.