After securing their first State League Premiership in 11 years, the Brisbane Lions Reserves are now shifting their focus to this Saturday’s NEAFL Inter-Conference Championship in Canberra.
The Lions will be representing all of Queensland and NT in a battle to prove which of the Conferences was stronger in 2012 – Northern or Eastern.
Standing in their way are Eastern Conference Premiers Queanbeyan Tigers – who, like the Lions, enjoyed a remarkable turnaround in fortunes over the past 12 months.
While players from both the Lions and Tigers will be determined to win a second title in consecutive weeks, they will attempt to do so with limited preparation.
Both teams will have only a six-day break – at least one of which would have been no doubt saved for suitable celebrations.
Speaking with The Canberra Times earlier this week, Queanbeyan player/coach Kade Klemke revealed that it was difficult to find that balance between celebrating their breakthrough Premiership and preparing for Saturday.
”It’s mixed emotions at the moment,” Klemke said. ”We’ve got next week – do we celebrate, do we worry about next week? We’ve got to celebrate this, it’s been our primary goal to win [the Eastern Conference].”
”I said to the boys it’s up to them, it’s their call, but there’s an opportunity – when does a side get to win two grand finals in two weekends in a row?”
Klemke also said his team would go into the match confident considering they defeated the Sydney Swans Reserves – a quality side that has given the Lions trouble in recent years.
The Lions will send a relatively undermanned squad to Canberra this weekend, made up of around 12 listed players – compared to the 18 who played in last Sunday’s Grand Final.
However, such senior experience coupled with the Club’s valuable top-up players, will give the Lions a real chance of back-to-back victories.