Brisbane Lions coach Craig Starcevich wasn’t just determined to avenge an AFLW grand final loss, he wanted his team to play the right way this time.
His Lions did both in Sunday’s decider against North Melbourne as they claimed their second AFLW premiership.
It comes 12 months after Brisbane went down to Melbourne in a grand final in which a combined four goals were kicked.
“A seven goal to four (game), that’s a much better outcome than what we had last year when we were two goals each,” Starcevich said.
“I know we lost (last year) but it sort of grated on me a little bit that we put on not such a good spectacle.
“I hope the general punter likes our style of footy, because we’re in a phase now where we’ve got to get people watching.
“We’re lucky to have won it this year, and that’s great, but the bigger task for us and AFLW generally is to get people watching, and there’s a lot of attractive footy getting played this year.”
Starcevich has been there from the start of the Lions’ AFLW journey in 2017, guiding them to a competition-best five grand final appearances.
Brisbane lost the first two AFLW grand finals in 2017 and 2018 before finally breaking through with an upset win over Adelaide in 2021.
The Lions become the second club after the Crows (three) to have won multiple AFLW flags.
Brisbane have managed to continually defy expansion raids to remain in contention for premiership glory.
They lost All-Australian stars Emily Bates, Greta Bodey (both Hawthorn), and Jesse Wardlaw (St Kilda) during the off-season, while former player Tahlia Randall was in the opposition appearing for North.
Starcevich insisted the dramatic changes to the Lions’ list did not make the win any sweeter.
“It’s probably something we’ll reflect on a little bit later,” said the former Lions and Collingwood player.
“It gets talked about a lot because it’s a story from your angle (the media) but for us it’s a distraction more than anything else.
“From our point of view, it was just onwards with what we’ve got, try to find the best combo, bring new people in.”