|Full name||Brisbane Bears-Fitzroy Football Club Limited, Trading as Brisbane Lions Australian Football Club|
|Leading goalkicker||Josh Green (25)|
|Best and fairest||Dayne Beams, Stefan Martin,
Mitch Robinson, Dayne Zorko
|Colours||Maroon, blue, and gold|
|Competition||Australian Football League|
|Premierships||3 (2001, 2002, 2003)|
|Ground(s)||The Gabba (capacity: 42,000)|
|Training ground(s)||The Gabba|
The Brisbane Lions are an Australian rules football club which plays in the Australian Football League (AFL). The club is based in Brisbane, Queensland. The club was formed in 1996 from the merger of the Fitzroy Lions and the Brisbane Bears. It is one of the most successful AFL clubs of the 21st century, having appeared in four consecutive AFL Grand Finals from 2001 to 2004 and winning three premierships (2001, 2002 and 2003).
- 1 History: Start of a new era
- 2 Corporate
- 3 Club symbols
- 4 Awards and achievements
- 5 Club facts
- 6 Players
- 7 NEAFL team
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
History: Start of a new era
The Brisbane Lions were officially launched on 1 November 1996, joining the national competition in 1997.
In their first year as a combined club the Lions made the finals, finishing in eighth position after being defeated by the St Kilda Football Club in a qualifying final. The following year, however, they finished in last position, despite boasting a talented playing list.
Triple premiership success: 2001–2003
As the Brisbane Lions, the club won its first AFL premiership in the 2001 AFL Grand Final, defeating Essendon 15.18 (108) to 12.10 (82). Lions utility player Shaun Hart won the Norm Smith Medal as best on ground in the Grand Final.:521
In 2002, the Lions won back-to-back premierships when they again defeated Collingwood 9.12 (66) to 10.15 (75) in the 2002 AFL Grand Final in cold and wet conditions at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Early in the contest the Lions lost both ruckman Beau McDonald and utility player Martin Pike (who had already had nine possessions in the first quarter) to injury and had to complete the match with a limited bench.
With a number of players under an injury cloud – and having lost to Collingwood in a qualifying final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground three weeks previously – the Lions went into the game as underdogs. However, they sealed their place in history as an AFL dynasty by thrashing the Magpies in cool but sunny conditions. At one stage in the final quarter the Lions led by almost 80 points before relaxing when the match was well and truly won, allowing Collingwood to score the last four goals. The final score of 20.14 (134) to 12.12 (84):860 saw the club become only the fourth in VFL/AFL history to win three consecutive premierships and the first since the creation of the AFL. Simon Black claimed the Norm Smith Medal with a dominant 39 possession match, the most possessions ever gathered by a player in a grand final.
The 2004 season saw Brisbane remain in the top portion of the ladder for most of the season. Reaching the finals in second position, Brisbane controversially had to travel to Melbourne to play against Geelong in the preliminary final, due to a contract between the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) and the Australian Football League (AFL) that required one preliminary final to be played each year at the MCG. Port Adelaide had finished on top of the ladder and hosted the other preliminary final in Adelaide. Despite this setback, Brisbane beat Geelong and reached the AFL Grand Final for the fourth consecutive year. Their opponents, Port Adelaide, playing in their first ever grand final, were too good on the day and recorded a 40-point win.
Rebuild of the Lions' second generation: 2005–2008
The Lions began the 2006 season optimistically, but injuries again plagued the club, whose players recorded an AFL record total of 200 matches lost to injury for the season.
The Brisbane Lions finished runner up in the 2007 NAB Cup and then went on to create history by being the first team in the history of the AFL to have five co-captains. That year, the Lions failed to make the finals for a third successive year in 2007.
The Lions began the 2008 NAB Cup shakily, losing to Essendon by 27 points. The team struggled for the season and missed out on the finals with a 10–12 record, losing 3 games despite having at least 5 more scoring shots in each of those games. Coach Leigh Matthews resigned at the end of the season after 10 seasons and 3 premierships with the club.
Michael Voss: 2009–2013
The Lions made a good start in the 2009 NAB Cup under new senior coach Michael Voss by registering a 9-point win over St Kilda. However this was followed by a series of losses in the pre-season to Essendon, Melbourne and Richmond. Their season ended with a 51-point loss to the Western Bulldogs.
The 2009/2010 off-season was dominated by the arrival of Brendan Fevola from Carlton, and the hype was focused on Fevola and Jonathan Brown in the sense that the Lions could capitalise on their strong 2009 season. Indeed, the Lions won their first four matches of the 2010 season to be top of the ladder after four rounds, but they would only win three more games after that to crash to a lowly finish by season's end. One of those wins however, was against eventual premiers Collingwood.
The Lions' 2010/2011 off-season was disrupted by the sacking of Fevola after just one season at the Lions, following repeated off-field indiscretions which included getting drunk in the Brisbane streets during New Year's Eve celebrations. On the field, the Lions won only four games for the year, but only one against any Victorian team, and that was North Melbourne, in Round 9. Despite their worst season since 1998, coach Michael Voss was granted a contract extension after the board recommended that Voss was the best man to take the club forward into the future. Leading into season 2012, only two players from the triple-premiership winning team of 2001–2003 remained: Simon Black and Jonathan Brown.
The 2013 season started well for Brisbane, defeating Carlton in the final of the NAB Cup, with Daniel Rich winning the Michael Tuck Medal for best on ground and Aaron Cornelius showing some good form. However, things began to decline from then, with losses to the Western Bulldogs and Adelaide. However, in the 5th QClash match against Gold Coast, the Lions won by two points, with Jonathan Brown winning the Marcus Ashcroft Medal. Injuries were beginning to take a toll, with young players Claye Beams and Jared Polec suffering severe injuries. In Round 13, Brisbane defeated second-placed Geelong, coming from 52 points down late in the third quarter to win by 5 points due to an Ash McGrath goal after the siren in his 200th match.
Playing under Justin Leppitsch: 2014–
On 25 August 2013, former premiership player of the Lions, Justin Leppitsch, was confirmed to be the senior coach of the Lions for the next 3 seasons starting in 2014
On 18 October 2013, Brisbane Lions legend Simon Black announced his retirement.
During round 13, 2014 Lions captain Jonathan Brown was the victim of a facial injury in a clash between the Lions and the Greater Western Sydney Giants. He collided with Tomas Bugg's knee and was taken off the ground. He suffered a concussion, which caused his retirement from football. Along with the retirement of Ashley McGrath in August 2014, no active players remain from any of the club's triple-premiership winning sides.
Membership base and sponsorship
Crowds and memberships for the Brisbane Lions grew dramatically during the four seasons in which they made the AFL Grand Final. Since then, with the team being less successful, attendances have declined, but have remained stable over the past three seasons. In 2009 the Lions found it so difficult to sell corporate boxes that they resorted to doing so on a game-by-game basis. 2011 saw the Brisbane Lions suffer their worst ever drop in support, as memberships decreased by 28%.The 2015 season has seen the membership rise to 25,109, a decent figure but still an 18% decrease from the club's peak membership of 30,941 in 2004. Consequently, the Brisbane Lions have the third lowest membership in the AFL.
|Year||Members||Change from previous season||Finishing position1||Average home crowd
|Profit (Loss)||Major Sponsor|
|1997||19,550||N/A||Qualifying Finalist (8th)||24,468||Carlton & United Breweries|
|1998||16,674||571||Wooden spoon (16th)||19,913||Carlton & United Breweries|
|1999||16,931||823||Preliminary Finalist (3rd)||21,890||AAPT|
|2004||30,941||5,363||Grand Finalist (2nd)||33,619||AAPT|
|2010||29,014||2,690||13th||29,933||($2,713,848)||Bank of Queensland, Conergy|
|2011||20,792||8,222||15th||20,461||($1,855,926)||Bank of Queensland, Conergy|
|2012||20,762||30||13th||20,343||($2,513,262)||Bank of Queensland, Conergy|
|2013||24,130||3,368||12th||21,083||($1,574,762)||National Storage, Vero Insurance|
|2014||23,930||200||15th||19,735||($3,543,138)||National Storage, Vero Insurance|
|2015||25,408||1,478||17th||18,810||($681,053)||National Storage, Vero Insurance|
|2016*||23,086||2,322||Camperdown Dairy International, Vero Insurance|
Statistics highlighted in bold denote the best season for Brisbane in that category
Statistics highlighted in italic denote the worst season for Brisbane in that category
1 following finals matches
* as at 4 June 2016
The three types of guernsey are:
- Home guernsey (worn since 2015): Maroon and blue based guernsey with original Fitzroy lion, coloured gold and maroon. Vero Insurance is the sponsor on the front and Camperdown Dairy International is the sponsor on the back (home shorts worn in home games and away shorts worn in away games not played in Victoria). The Lions also wore this jumper from 1997-2009 before switching to a more 'modern' lion.
- Away guernsey (Worn since 2015): Red and blue based guernsey with original Fitzroy lion, coloured gold and red. Camperdown Dairy International is the sponsor on the front and Vero Insurance is the sponsor on the back (away shorts worn). The Lions also wore this jumper from 2008-2009 before switching to a more 'modern' lion.
- Clash guernsey (Worn since 2015): Maroon and white, plus an angled blue keyline, reminiscent of the white one on the Bears’ “vee” of the mid 1990s. Camperdown Dairy International is the sponsor on the front and Vero Insurance is the sponsor on the back (away shorts worn).
The Lion's Mascot Manor representative and club mascot is Bernie "Gabba" Vegas, a caricature of a lion dressed in Brisbane Lions jumper, sunglasses, wide lapels, and flares, designed to resemble Elvis Presley.
We are the pride of Brisbane town,
we wear maroon, blue and gold,
we will always fight for victory,
like Fitzroy and Bears of old,
all for one, and one for all,
we will answer to the call,
go Lions, Brisbane Lions,
we'll kick the winning score,
you'll hear our mighty roar!
Awards and achievements
- AFL Grand Final Appearances
- (Reserves) North East Australian Football League Premierships
- John Northey: 1997–1998
- Roger Merrett: 1998 (caretaker)
- Leigh Matthews: 1999–2008
- John Blakey: 2005 (caretaker)
- Michael Voss: 2009–2013
- Mark Harvey: 2013 (caretaker)
- Justin Leppitsch: 2014–
- Michael Voss (co-captain: 1997–2000; captain: 2000–2006)
- Alastair Lynch (co-captain: 1997–2000)
- Chris Johnson (co-captain: 2007)
- Nigel Lappin (co-captain: 2007–2008)
- Simon Black (co-captain: 2007–2008)
- Luke Power (co-captain: 2007–2008)
- Jonathan Brown (co-captain: 2007–2008, 2013; captain: 2009–2012)
- Jed Adcock (co-captain: 2013; captain: 2014)
- Tom Rockliff (captain: 2015–present)
Biggest home crowds
|Rank||Crowd||Round, Season||Result||Opponent||Brisbane Lions||Opposition||Margin||Venue||Day/Night/Twilight|
|1||37,224||15, 2005||Win||Collingwood||19.19 (133)||7.13 (55)||+78||The Gabba||Night|
|2||37,032||PF2, 2001||Win||Richmond||20.16 (136)||10.8 (68)||+68||The Gabba||Night|
|3||36,803||4, 2003||Win||Collingwood||14.11 (95)||11.15 (81)||+14||The Gabba||Night|
|4||36,780||2, 2010||Win||Carlton||16.11 (107)||12.16 (88)||+19||The Gabba||Night|
|5||36,467||3, 2004||Win||Collingwood||21.11 (137)||12.5 (77)||+60||The Gabba||Night|
|6||36,197||1, 2003||Win||Essendon||14.20 (104)||8.13 (61)||+43||The Gabba||Night|
|7||36,149||10, 2001||Win||Essendon||15.12 (102)||10.14 (74)||+28||The Gabba||Night|
|8||36,077||17, 2005||Win||Essendon||17.12 (114)||14.17 (101)||+13||The Gabba||Night|
|9||35,898||3, 2002||Win||Essendon||17.15 (117)||9.13 (67)||+50||The Gabba||Night|
|10||35,823||21, 2004||Win||St Kilda||20.10 (130)||13.7 (85)||+45||The Gabba||Day|
The Brisbane Lions have entered a reserves team in the North East Australian Football League (NEAFL) competition since 2011. The club had previously entered a reserves team in the local Queensland Australian Football League in 1998, known as the Lion Cubs but became the Suncoast Lions Football Club in 2004 and were based on the Sunshine Coast. They would win their first premiership in 2001 when they defeated the Southport Sharks in the QAFL Grand Final. A stand-alone Brisbane Lions reserves team was created in 2011 and began playing in the Northern Conference of the North East Australian Football League. In 2012, the Lions won the Northern Conference and overall NEAFL premierships, a feat which was repeated in 2013. The Lions reserves trains and plays at the senior team's secondary training venue Giffin Park in Coorparoo, a four-minute drive from the Gabba.
|2001||QAFL||Southport Sharks||13.20 (98) – 13.8 (86)||Giffin Park|
|2012||NEAFL||Queanbeyan Tigers||22.12 (144) – 11.9 (75)||Manuka Oval|
|2013||NEAFL||Sydney Swans||12.9 (81) – 10.13 (73)||Graham Rd Oval|
|Season||Win–Loss–Draw||Ladder position||Finals result|
|2011||4–13–1||10th (Wooden spoon)||DNQ|
|2013||16–2–0||1st (Minor premiership)||Premiers|
|2016||1-7-0||9th||Season in progress|
- 1998: Roger Merrett
- 1999–2000: Unknown
- 2001–2005: Craig Brittain
- 2006: John Blakey/Daryn Cresswell
- 2007: Craig Brittain
- 2007: Justin Leppitsch (caretaker)
- 2008: Paul Hudson
- 2008: Justin Leppitsch (caretaker)
- 2009: Craig Brittain
- 2010: Craig McRae
- 2011–2012: Nathan Clarke
- 2013–2014: Leigh Harding
- 2015–: Shane Woewodin
- Wikipedia listing of Brisbane Lions players
- Merrett–Murray Medal
- Australian rules football in Queensland
- Sport in Queensland
- Sport in Australia
- Brisbane Lions Trading Name
- "A history of Premierships". Brisbane Lions. Retrieved 15 September 2012.
- "AFL Clubs" (PDF). AFL. Retrieved 30 June 2010.
- Lovett, Michael (Chief editor) (2010). AFL Record Season Guide. Geoff Slattery Media Group. ISBN 978-0-9806274-5-9.
- Blake, Martin (28 September 2003). "Black right on the ball". The Age. Australia. Retrieved 8 May 2011.
- Wilson, Caroline (15 August 2014). "Fairer finals clause comes back to bite AFL".
- "Port Adelaide stun Brisbane". 25 September 2004.
- "Voss not boss". The Sydney Morning Herald.
- "Michael Voss sacked by Brisbane Lions". The Age. Melbourne.
- Brisbane Lions' Ash McGrath Retiring From AFL, Triple M Melbourne, 21 August 2014
- Lions hit by fall in corporate box sales heraldson.com.au. Retrieved 27 September 2009.
- Macgugan, Mark (19 July 2011). "Clubs post membership record". AFL. Retrieved 28 July 2011.
- Attendance Summary
- Jonathan Brown. Life and Football.
- Member Milestones from lions.com.au
- Denham, Greg (May 16, 2012). "Brisbane Lions heading down financially stricken path of Port Adelaide as on-field performance fades". Fox Sports. Retrieved 11 January 2015.
-  2009 Brisbane Lions Annual Report (2008 comparison values)
- Lions membership tally rises – Official AFL website of the Brisbane Lions AFC
-  2009 Brisbane Lions Annual Report
-  2010 Brisbane Lions Annual Report
- Clubs post membership record – AFL.com.au
-  2011 Brisbane Lions Annual Report
- "Brisbane Lions Membership". Membership.lions.com.au. 9 February 2013. Retrieved 18 February 2013.
- Lions announce financial loss
- "Brisbane Lions Membership Numbers". Retrieved 24 February 2013.
-  2013 Brisbane Lions Financial Report
- "2014 Financial Report" (PDF). Brisbane Bears – Fitzroy Football Club Limited. 31 October 2014.
- "Brisbane Lions 2015 Annual Report" (PDF). Brisbane Lions. Retrieved 10 January 2016.
- Tony Eastley (29 October 2009). "Brisbane Lions face court action over new logo". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 10 April 2010.
- Allen, Steve (29 September 2015). "Brownlow Medal 2015: remember when Shane Woewodin shocked the footy world?". The Age. Retrieved 4 May 2016.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Brisbane Lions.|
- Official website of the Brisbane Lions Football Club
- The Brisbane Lions – an Overview – Official AFL website of the Brisbane Lions Football Club