Brisbane Lions

The Brisbane Lions is a professional Australian rules football club who play in the Australian Football League (AFL). The club is based in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. The club was formed in late 1996 from the merger of the then Fitzroy Lions’ football operations and the Brisbane Bears.[3] The Lions are 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, 2003).

Brisbane Lions
Brisbane Lions logo 2010.svg
Full nameBrisbane Bears-Fitzroy Football Club Limited, trading as Brisbane Lions Australian Football Club[1]
2020 season
After finals4th (Preliminary Final)
Home-and-away season2nd
Leading goalkickerCharlie Cameron (26)
Merrett–Murray MedalLachie Neale
Club details
Colours  Maroon   Blue   Gold
CompetitionAFL: Senior men
AFLW: Senior women
NEAFL: Reserves men
ChairmanAndrew Wellington[2]
CEOGreg Swann
CoachAFL: Chris Fagan
AFLW: Craig Starcevich
NEAFL: Mitch Hahn
Captain(s)AFL: Dayne Zorko
AFLW: Emma Zielke
NEAFL Ryan Bastinac
PremiershipsAFL (3)Reserves/NEAFL (5)
Ground(s)AFL: The Gabba (42,000)
AFLW: Hickey Park (5,000)
NEAFL: SP Sports Complex (3,000)
Training ground(s)The Gabba (1997–present)
Other information
Current season

The club plays home matches in the AFL at the Gabba and is captained by Dayne Zorko and coached by Chris Fagan. The Lions were a foundation team in the AFL Women's competition in 2017 and have featured in two grand finals in that time, finishing runners-up on both occasions.

The Brisbane Lions are the second south-east Queensland team formed in the region. The club plays its home games at the Gabba.



In 1996, the ten-year-old Brisbane Bears had enjoyed their best season to date, losing a preliminary final to the eventual premiers, North Melbourne. However, the club was on extremely shaky financial ground and did not have many opportunities to generate revenue.

In contrast, the Fitzroy Lions, a foundation club of the VFL/AFL, had been among the bottom teams of the league for the better part of the last four decades. They had finished in last place for two successive seasons, although they contained a number of promising young players. The club was in serious trouble off the field as well. It had not had a permanent home since 1966 and had been on the verge of folding as early as 1986.

By the start of the 1996 season, Fitzroy was almost at the end of its financial tether. The club's directors agreed in principle to merge with the 1996 premiers, North Melbourne, as the "North-Fitzroy Kangaroos". However, that proposal was rejected 15–1 by the AFL Commission, reportedly out of concern that an all-Victorian merge would be too powerful. Instead, Fitzroy was placed into administration, and its administrator accepted an offer to merge its football operations with Brisbane. The merged team would be based in Brisbane, and Bears coach John Northey would become coach of the merged club. However, it adopted a logo and guernsey based largely on those of Fitzroy.

The Brisbane Lions were officially launched on 1 November 1996, joining the national competition in 1997.

Beginnings: 1997–2000Edit

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. Accordingly, Northey was sacked as coach with eight rounds remaining in the season. During the off-season the club hired Leigh Matthews, who in 1990 had delivered Collingwood its first premiership since 1958.

Matthews, who was voted "Player of the Century" in 2000, played his entire career with Hawthorn and brought many of the Hawthorn disciplines to the Lions. Within a season the Lions rose from the bottom of the ladder to fourth, before losing to the eventual premiers, the Kangaroos, in a preliminary final. The Lions played finals again in 2000, but would bow out in the second week after losing to Carlton by 82 points.

Triple premiership success: 2001–2003Edit

Michael Voss captained Brisbane to three successive premierships

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).[4] Lions utility player Shaun Hart won the Norm Smith Medal as best on ground in the Grand Final.[5]:521

In 2002, the Lions won back-to-back premierships when they 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 to injury and had to complete the match with a limited bench.

In 2003, the Lions would win their 3rd premiership in a row. 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)[5]: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.[6]

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.[7] 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.[8]

Rebuild & Michael Voss: 2005–2013Edit

Training, May 2007

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 started the 2007 season promisingly, finishing runner up in the 2007 NAB Cup. However, the Lions would fail to make the finals for a third successive year. Despite this, the Lions made history by becoming the first team in the history of the AFL to have five co-captains.

The team struggled during the 2008 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. Following the season, Coach Leigh Matthews resigned after 10 seasons and 3 premierships with the club. The Lions appointed former player and Captain Michael Voss as the coach ahead of 2009.

Brendan Fevola became the first player to be traded the year after winning the Coleman Medal. He originally came from Carlton.

Brisbane's 2009 season was promising for the club. After only winning 2 games from the first 5 played, the club won 9 of the next 12 to sit in 6th on the Ladder, where they would finish the season. They would also record a strong victory over eventual premiers Geelong during this timeframe by 43 points. The club beat Carlton in their Elimination Final, coming from 30 points behind in the final quarter to win by 7 points, before losing to the Western Bulldogs in a Semi Final.

The 2009/2010 off-season was dominated by the arrival of Brendan Fevola from Carlton, with a belief in the club that Fevola could help them capitalise and improve upon 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 finish 13th by the end of the season.

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 and finished 15th overall. 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. However, the club began its 2013 season with back-to-back losses to the Western Bulldogs and Adelaide. Injuries took a toll on the team, with young players Claye Beams and Jared Polec suffering severe injuries.[citation needed] 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, in what would become known as the Miracle on Grass.[9]

On 13 August 2013, coach Michael Voss was told that his contract would not be renewed.[10][11][12][13]

On 18 October 2013, Brisbane Lions legend Simon Black announced his retirement.

Playing under Justin Leppitsch: 2014–2016Edit

On 25 August 2013, former premiership player for the Lions, Justin Leppitsch, was confirmed to be the senior coach of the Lions for the next three seasons.

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, and subsequently retired from football. His retirement, alongside the retirement of Ash McGrath, meant there were no players from the triple-premiership era remaining at the club.[14]

On 29 August 2016, Leppitsch was sacked as coach of the Lions after multiple disappointing seasons.[15]

Chris Fagan era: 2017–presentEdit

On 4 October 2016, Hawthorn football manager Chris Fagan was announced as Brisbane's senior coach from the 2017 season onwards.[16]

The Lions claimed the 2017 wooden spoon, despite winning 5 games for the season, 2 more than the previous season. Their percentage of 74.3 was the worst in the league, behind Fremantle with a percentage of 74.4. The 2018 season was very similar, recording 5 wins to finish in 15th place.

The Lions had a magnificent 2019 season, making the finals for the first time since 2009 and finishing second on the AFL ladder with 16 wins, behind minor premiers Geelong on percentage. However, Brisbane were bundled out of the finals in straight sets at the Gabba, losing to eventual premiers Richmond by 47 points in their qualifying final and then to eventual runners-up Greater Western Sydney by three points in their semi-final due to a late Brett Daniels goal. The Lions would become the first team since Geelong in 1997 to finish second on the ladder and not progress to a preliminary final.

Brisbane repeated their form displayed in 2019 the following year, once again finishing in second position on percentage at the conclusion of the Home and Away season. They won 14 games in a shortened 17-game season. During their qualifying final, they defeated Richmond for the first time since 2009 and qualified for a preliminary final berth.

Membership baseEdit

Crowds and memberships for the Brisbane Lions grew dramatically during the four seasons in which they made the AFL Grand Final.

Year Members
Change from previous season Finishing position Finals result/Wooden spoon Average home crowd
Profit (loss) Kit manufacturer Major sponsor/s Shorts Sponsor
1997 16,769 N/A 8th Qualifying finalists 19,550 Unknown Puma Carlton & United Breweries Spam
1998 16,108   661 16th Wooden spoon 16,675
1999 16,931   823 3rd Preliminary finalists 21,890 Devine Homes
2000 20,295   3,364 6th Semi-finalists 27,406 AAPT Spam
2001 18,330   1,965 2nd Premiers 27,638 ($845,000)[19] Russell Athletic Bio Organics Vitamins
2002 22,288   3,958 2nd Premiers 26,895 Unknown AAMI
2003 24,365   2,077 3rd Premiers 31,717 $2,200,000[20]
2004 30,941   6,576 2nd Grand finalists 33,619 Unknown
2005 28,913   1,308 11th N/A 33,267
2006 26,459   2,454 13th 28,630
2007 21,976   4,483 10th 28,848 $1,058,000[21] Puma Vodafone
2008 22,737   761 10th 28,128 ($2,200,030)[22] HBA
2009 24,873   2,136 6th Semi-finalists 29,172 ($603,207)[23] MBF
2010 26,779   1,906 13th N/A 29,933 ($2,713,848)[24] Bank of Queensland, Conergy
2011 22,338   4,441 15th 20,462 ($1,855,926)[25] KooGa/BLK[a] Bupa
2012 20,762   1,576 13th 20,344 ($2,513,262)[26]
2013 24,130   3,368 12th 21,083 ($1,574,762)[27] National Storage, Vero Insurance
2014 24,012   118 15th 19,743 ($3,543,138)[28] TechnologyOne
2015 25,408   1,396 17th 18,810 ($681,053)[29] Garuda Indonesia
2016 23,286   2,122 17th 17,074 ($1,783,506)[30] Camperdown Dairy International, Vero Insurance N/A
2017 21,362   1,924 18th Wooden spoon 16,455 ($2,261,990)[31] Majestic XXXX
2018 24,867   3,505 15th N/A 18,405 ($230,641)[32] Oaks Hotels & Resorts, Vero Insurance
2019 28,821   3,954 2nd Semi-finalists 24,741 $648,618[33] Neds, Oaks Hotels & Resorts[b] The Coffee Club
2020 29,277   456 2nd Preliminary finalists 10,648[c] N/A Classic Neds, XL Express

Statistics highlighted in bold denote the best known season for Brisbane in that category
Statistics highlighted in italic denote the worst known season for Brisbane in that category

  1. ^ The manufacturer was known as KooGa from the 2011 season to the 2013 season, and as BLK from the 2014 season to the 2016 season.
  2. ^ For a short period in the 2018/19 off-season, from November '18 to March '19, the Lions' co–major sponsors were Oaks Hotels & Resorts and SOOW; however, the contract with SOOW was cancelled before the first game of the home-and-away season was played.
  3. ^ Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there were capped crowd capacities during the 2020 season

Non-playing/coaching staffEdit

Name Position
Greg Swann Chief Executive Officer
Andrew Wellington Chairman
Sarah Kelly Deputy chairman
Cyril Jinks Directors
Leigh Matthews
Peter McGregor
Mick Power
Ross Thornton
David Noble General Manager of Football
Dom Ambrogio List Manager
Andrew Crowell Personal Excellence and Wellbeing Manager
Damien Austin High Performance Manager
Stephen Conole Senior Recruiting Manager
Leon Harris Recruitment Consultant

Relationship with Fitzroy FCEdit

Fitzroy FC Ltd improved its relationship with the Brisbane Lions in the ten years from 1999–2009. In that time Brisbane acknowledged the two parent clubs for the merger with the letters BBFFC printed below the back of the neck of the club's guernseys from 2002. The Fitzroy Reds played the curtain-raiser at the MCG when the Brisbane Lions met the Collingwood Magpies in the AFL Heritage Round of 2003. Brisbane also now wears a version of Fitzroy's AFL guernsey with red instead of maroon in most matches played in Victoria, consistent with Fitzroy's most recent colours.

Relationships between Fitzroy and Brisbane were strained in late 2009, when Brisbane announced that it was adopting a new logo for season 2010 and beyond, which Fitzroy Football Club believed contravened Section 7.2 c) of the merger agreement. The new logo, a lion's head facing forward, replaced the former Fitzroy logo of a passant lion with a football. On 22 December 2009, Fitzroy lodged a Statement of Claim with the Supreme Court of Victoria, seeking an order that the Brisbane Lions be restrained from using as its logo, the new logo or any other logo other than 'the Fitzroy lion logo'. On 15 July 2010, the two clubs reached a settlement, agreeing that the Fitzroy logo symbolically represents the historic merger between the Bears and Fitzroy and the first 13 years of the Brisbane Lions competing in the AFL, and that Brisbane would use both the old and new logos alongside each other in an official capacity (e.g. on letterheads, marketing, etc.), with the old logo to be phased out altogether after 2014. Brisbane returned to using the old logo on its playing guernseys from 2015, but the new logo will remain for corporate purposes.

The Lions also keep strong ties with the Fitzroy Football Club in the VAFA and the Fitzroy junior football club, and the support of Fitzroy greats such as Kevin Murray have ensured the Brisbane Lions are considered a direct continuation of Fitzroy in the AFL.

Club identityEdit


In 1997, the club unveiled its new merger emblem, consisting of the golden Fitzroy Lion on a badge of Maroon and Blue. The club used this emblem from 1997 until the end of 2001. In 2002, the club would unveil a new emblem in the shape of a football, emblazoned with the words "Brisbane Lions" and with the Fitzroy Lion located within the o of Lions. This emblem was used until 2010, when the emblem was again changed, this time in favour of a forward-facing Lion head.


Home Guernsey (worn since 2015): Predominantly maroon guernsey with a blue yolk featuring a golden Fitzroy Lion, with a gold collar and cuffs. XL Express is the current sponsor on the front whilst Ned's is the current sponsor on the back. For shorts, maroon home shorts are worn in home games and white away shorts are worn in away games not played in Victoria. This guernsey was also worn between 1997 and 2009.

Away Guernsey (worn since 2015): Predominantly red guernsey with a blue yolk featuring a golden Fitzroy lion, with a blue collar and cuffs. Ned's is the current sponsor on the front and XL Express is the current sponsor on the back. White away shorts are worn when this guernsey is used. This guernsey was also worn in 2008 and 2009.

Clash Guernsey (worn since 2020): This predominantly white guernsey features a golden Fitzroy lion on a maroon v (the v reminiscent of the Bears’ final guernsey), with a maroon collar and cuffs. Ned's is the sponsor on the front and XL Express is the sponsor on the back. The same shorts as the Away Guernsey are worn.


Bernie "Gabba" Vegas

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.


The club's team song, "The Pride of Brisbane Town", is a combonation of Fitzroy and Brisbane Bears club songs, and is sung to the music of "La Marseillaise", the French national anthem.[34]

Training baseEdit

The club trains out of the Gabba. The club's administrative facilities are located in the stadium. Due to the cricket season in the summer, the club has been required to train out of alternate locations, such as Coorparoo and Burpengary. In 2021, the club will move into The Reserve, Springfield, a 10,000-capacity high-class facility in Ipswich that will ensure the club can base itself in the single location and play reserve-grade and AFLW matches at the one location.[35]



Angst between supporters of Collingwood and Brisbane had been caused by plenty of history between the two clubs, despite the Brisbane Lions having a relatively short existence as a merged club. Pre-merger Fitzroy was a neighbouring suburb to Collingwood, with the boundary being based on Smith Street, along with the fact that Fitzroy and Collingwood topped the VFL/AFL premiership tally during the early existence of what was then the VFL competition. There was also animosity between the Brisbane Bears and the Magpies after the Bears' number one draft pick Nathan Buckley famously defected to Collingwood after one season on the Bears list.[36] The Bears also lost their final regular season match in their final season (1996) to the Magpies, costing the Bears the minor premiership that season. However, the rivalry between the Lions and the Magpies was properly ignited post-merger, beginning in late 1999 when Collingwood played their last ever VFL/AFL game at their spiritual home ground, Victoria Park. The Lions emerged 42 point victors that day and consigned the Magpies to their second wooden spoon in their VFL/AFL history. The rivalry between the two clubs peaked in the early 2000's, as the clubs played off in two consecutive Grand Finals in 2002 and 2003, with the Lions emerging victors on both occasions.[36][citation needed]

Gold CoastEdit

The Brisbane Lions have a rivalry with fellow Queensland AFL team the Gold Coast Suns. The two teams contest the QClash twice each season. The first QClash was held in 2011, with Gold Coast winning by 8 points; the game established the highest pay TV audience ever for an AFL game, with a total of 354,745 viewers watching the game.[37]

The medal for the player adjudged best on ground is known as the Marcus Ashcroft Medal. It is named after former footballer Marcus Ashcroft, who played junior football on the Gold Coast for Southport and 318 VFL/AFL games for the Brisbane Bears/Lions between 1989 and 2003. He later joined Gold Coast's coaching staff and was the first Queenslander to play 300 VFL/AFL games.[38] Lion Dayne Beams has won the medal three times, the most by any player.

The trophy awarded to the winner of the game is currently known as the "QClash Trophy". The trophy is a "traditional style" looking silver cup with a wooden base and a plaque. The plaque's inscription reads from left to right, "Brisbane Lions AFC", "QCLASH", "Gold Coast Suns FC".[39]

Port AdelaideEdit

This rivalry dates back to 1997, the inaugural season of Port Adelaide and the newly merged Brisbane Lions. In their early days, the two clubs couldn’t be separated and had multiple close encounters, with a draw in two of their first three meetings.[40] In the early 2000's, the rivalry reached its peak as the two clubs would be the most dominant of the era, meeting in consecutive finals series between from 2001 to 2004 and consistently finishing at the top of the Ladder.[41] The most notable meeting between the two sides is the 2004 AFL Grand Final, where Port Adelaide ended Brisbane's chances of a fourth consecutive premiership. In recent years, the rivalry has died down.[citation needed]


Club honoursEdit

Competition Team Wins Years Won
Australian Football League Seniors 3 2001, 2002, 2003
Queensland Australian Football League (1998–2010) Reserves 1 2001
North East Australian Football League (2011–2019) 4 2012, 2013, 2017, 2019
Victorian Football League (2021–) 0 Nil
Other titles and honours
AFL Preseason competition Seniors 1 2013
AFLX Tournament Seniors 1 2018
Finishing positions
Australian Football League Minor premiership
(McClelland Trophy)
0 Nil
Grand Finalist 1 2004
Wooden spoons 2 1998, 2017
AFL Women's Minor premiership 1 2017
Grand Finalist 2 2017, 2018


Club factsEdit

Coaches (men's)Edit

No. Coach P W L D W% Years
1 John Northey 34 12 21 1 35.29 1997–1998
2 Roger Merrett 11 3 7 1 27.27 1998
3 Leigh Matthews 237 142 92 3 59.92 1999–2008
4 John Blakey 1 0 1 0 0.00 2005
5 Michael Voss 109 43 65 1 39.45 2009–2013
6 Mark Harvey 3 2 1 0 66.67 2013
7 Justin Leppitsch 66 14 52 0 21.21 2014–2016
8 Chris Fagan 68 26 42 0 38.24 2017–present

Coaches (women's)Edit

No. Coach P W L D W% Years
1 Craig Starcevich 25 14 10 1 56.00 2017—
2 Daniel Merrett 1 0 0 1 0.00 2020

Captains (men's)Edit

Captain Image Season(s) Achievements
Alastair Lynch   19972000 (co-captain)
Michael Voss   19972000 (co-captain)
20012006 (sole captain)
Simon Black   20072008 (co-captain)
Jonathan Brown   20072008 (co-captain)
20092012 (sole captain)
2013 (co-captain)
Chris Johnson   2007 (co-captain)
Nigel Lappin 20072008 (co-captain)
Luke Power   20072008 (co-captain)
Jed Adcock   2013 (co-captain)
2014 (sole captain)
Tom Rockliff   20152016
Dayne Beams   20172018
Dayne Zorko   2018

Captains (women's)Edit

Captain Image Season(s) Achievements
Emma Zielke   20172018, 2020
Leah Kaslar   2019

Biggest home crowdsEdit

Rank Crowd Round, Season Result Opponent Brisbane Lions Opposition Margin Venue Day/Night/Twilight
1 37,478 QF2, 2019 Loss Richmond 8.17 (65) 18.4 (112) −47 The Gabba Night
2 37,224 15, 2005 Win Collingwood 19.19 (133) 7.13 (55) +78 The Gabba Night
3 37,032 PF2, 2001 Win Richmond 20.16 (136) 10.8 (68) +68 The Gabba Night
4 36,803 4, 2003 Win Collingwood 14.11 (95) 11.15 (81) +14 The Gabba Night
5 36,780 2, 2010 Win Carlton 16.11 (107) 12.16 (88) +19 The Gabba Night
6 36,467 3, 2004 Win Collingwood 21.11 (137) 12.5 (77) +60 The Gabba Night
7 36,197 1, 2003 Win Essendon 14.20 (104) 8.13 (61) +43 The Gabba Night
8 36,149 10, 2001 Win Essendon 15.12 (102) 10.14 (74) +28 The Gabba Night
9 36,077 17, 2005 Win Essendon 17.12 (114) 14.17 (101) +13 The Gabba Night
10 35,898 3, 2002 Win Essendon 17.15 (117) 9.13 (67) +50 The Gabba Night

AFL finishing positions (1997–present)Edit

Legend: Premiers, Wooden spoon

Finishing Position Year (Finals in Bold) Tally
Premiers 2001, 2002, 2003 3
Runner-up 2004 1
3rd nil 0
4th 1999, 2020 2
5th 2000, 2019 2
6th 2009 1
7th nil 0
8th 1997 1
9th nil 0
10th 2007, 2008 2
11th 2005 1
12th 2013 1
13th 2006, 2010, 2012 3
14th nil 0
15th 2011, 2014, 2018 3
16th 1998 1
17th 2015, 2016 2
18th 2017 1


Current squadEdit

Brisbane Lions
Senior list Rookie list Coaching staff

Head coach

Assistant coaches

  • Danny Daly (strategy)
  • Murray Davis (backline)
  • Dale Tapping (midfield)
  • Ben Hudson (ruck/midfield)
  • Jed Adcock (forwards)
  • Scott Borlace (head of development)
  • Mitch Hahn (NEAFL head coach)
  • Paul Henriksen (development)
  • Zane Littlejohn (development)

  • (c) Captain(s)
  • (vc) Vice captain(s)
  • (B) Category B rookie
  • italics - Inactive player list
  •   Long-term injury
  • (ret.) Retired

Updated: 21 October 2020
Source(s): Players, Coaches

Reserves teamEdit

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 initially as the Lion Cubs before later becoming known as the Suncoast Lions Football Club in 2004 and basing themselves from 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, participating in the Northern Conference of the North East Australian Football League. In 2012, the Lions won both the Northern Conference and overall NEAFL premiership, a feat which was repeated in 2013. The Lions reserves play home games at the South Pine Sports Complex in Brendale, a facility opened in 2016.


Premierships (5)
Year Competition Opponent Score Venue
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 Road Oval
2017 NEAFL Sydney Swans 12.13 (85) – 10.22 (82) Sydney Cricket Ground
2019 NEAFL Southport Sharks 20.15 (135) – 8.11 (59) Fankhauser Reserve

Season summariesEdit

Season Competition W–L–D Ladder position Finals result/Wooden spoon? Coach
1998 QAFL Unknown Unknown Unknown[a] Roger Merrett
1999 Unknown
2001 Premiers Craig Brittain
2002 Unknown[a]
2006 John Blakey/Daryn Cresswell
2007 Craig Brittain
Justin Leppitsch (caretaker)
2008 Paul Hudson
Justin Leppitsch (caretaker)
2009 Craig Brittain
2010 6–12–0 8th N/A Craig McRae
2011 NEAFL
(Northern Conference)
4–13–1 10th Wooden spoon Nathan Clarke
2012 14–4–0 2nd Premiers (conference and combined)
2013 16–2–0 1st (minor premiers) Premiers (conference and combined) Leigh Harding
2014 NEAFL 6–12–0 9th N/A
2015 2–16–0 10th Shane Woewodin[42]
2016 3–15–0 10th Wooden spoon
2017 15–3–0 2nd Premiers Mitch Hahn
2018 10–7–1 5th Elimination finalists
2019 18–0–0 1st (minor premiers) Premiers

Statistics highlighted in bold denote the best known season for Brisbane in that category
Statistics highlighted in italic denote the worst known season for Brisbane in that category

  1. ^ a b Whilst the finals result is unknown, it is known the team was neither premiers nor runners-up.

AFL Women's teamEdit

In May 2016, the club launched a bid to enter a team in the inaugural AFL Women's season in 2017.[43] The Brisbane Lions were granted a license on 15 June 2016, becoming one of eight teams to compete in the league's first season.[44] Former AFL Queensland employee Breeanna Brock was appointed to the position of Women's CEO the following day.[44]

Tayla Harris and Sabrina Frederick-Traub were the club's first signings, unveiled along with the league's other 14 marquee players on 27 July 2016.[45] A further 23 senior players and two rookie players were added to the club's inaugural list in the league's drafting and signing period. Emma Zielke will captain the team for their inaugural season.[46]

Former Collingwood and Brisbane Bears player and AFL Queensland coach Craig Starcevich was appointed the team's inaugural head coach in June 2016.[47] The rest of the coaching team was announced on 8 November 2016 as David Lake as the midfield coach, Daniel Merrett as the backline coach and Brent Staker as the forward coach.[48]

Existing club sponsor Hyundai, along with Epic Pharmacy, will sponsor the team in 2017.[49]

The team plays its home games at the South Pine Sports Complex in Brendale.

Current squadEdit

Brisbane Lions (AFL Women's)
Senior list Rookie list Coaching staff

Head coach

Assistant coaches

  • (c) Captain(s)
  • (vc) Vice captain(s)
  •   Injury list
  •   Upgraded rookie

Updated: 21 October 2020
Source(s): Players, Coaches

Non-playing/coaching staffEdit

Name Position
Breeanna Brock Chief Executive Officer
Jess Blechnyden Football Analyst
Lana McLoughan Sports Psychologist
Michael Swann Wellbeing Mentor
Matt Green High Performance Manager
Tiernan Gamble Strength and Condition Coordinator
Miranda O'Hara Head of Medical
Tara Long Physio
Jeremy Schoenmaker Head Trainer
Kieran Miles Doctor

Season summariesEdit

Brisbane AFLW honour roll
Season Final position Coach Captain Best and fairest Leading goal kicker
2017 Runners-up Craig Starcevich Emma Zielke Emily Bates Kate McCarthy (9)
2018 Runners-up Craig Starcevich Emma Zielke Kate Lutkins Jess Wuetschner (13)
2019 9th ^ Craig Starcevich Leah Kaslar Ally Anderson Jess Wuetschner (8)
2020 7th ^ Craig Starcevich
(rounds 1–2, round 4–semi-final)
Daniel Merrett
(round 3)
Emma Zielke Emily Bates Jesse Wardlaw (9)

^ Denotes the ladder was split into two or more conferences. Figure refers to the club's overall finishing position that season.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Current details for ABN 43 054 263 473". ABN Lookup. Australian Business Register. Retrieved 4 August 2020.
  2. ^ "Andrew Wellington appointed Chairman". Brisbane Lions. Archived from the original on 25 April 2018. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
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  5. ^ a b Lovett, Michael (Chief editor) (2010). AFL Record Season Guide. Geoff Slattery Media Group. ISBN 978-0-9806274-5-9.
  6. ^ Blake, Martin (28 September 2003). "Black right on the ball". The Age. Australia. Retrieved 8 May 2011.
  7. ^ Wilson, Caroline (15 August 2014). "Fairer finals clause comes back to bite AFL".
  8. ^ "Port Adelaide stun Brisbane". 25 September 2004.
  9. ^ Beaton, Robert (7 July 2017). "Remember When... 'Miracle on Grass'". AFL Players. Retrieved 20 July 2020.
  10. ^ "My fate was 'inevitable': Voss". Herald Sun. 13 August 2013.
  11. ^ Wilson, Jake Niall and Caroline (13 August 2013). "Voss not boss". Brisbane Times.
  12. ^ "Voss not boss". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  13. ^ "Michael Voss sacked by Brisbane Lions". The Age. Melbourne.
  14. ^ Brisbane Lions' Ash McGrath Retiring From AFL Archived 4 March 2016 at the Wayback Machine, Triple M Melbourne, 21 August 2014
  15. ^ "Brisbane Lions sack coach Justin Leppitsch after 'bitterly disappointing' AFL season". ABC. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 29 August 2016.
  16. ^ "Brisbane Lions unveil Chris Fagan as new coach". Herald Sun. 4 October 2016. Retrieved 11 October 2016.
  17. ^ "AFL Membership 1984 – 2016". Footy Industry. Archived from the original on 25 July 2018. Retrieved 24 July 2018.
  18. ^ "AFL Tables – Brisbane Lions – Crowds". Archived from the original on 18 October 2018. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  19. ^ Matthews, Leigh (2013). Accept the Challenge (2nd ed.). Random House Australia. p. 415. ISBN 978-0-85798-210-0.
  20. ^ Brown, Jonathan (2015). Life and Football (1st ed.). Penguin Group (Australia). p. 192. ISBN 978-0-14379-977-1.
  21. ^ Denham, Greg (16 May 2012). "Brisbane Lions heading down financially stricken path of Port Adelaide as on-field performance fades". Fox Sports. Retrieved 11 January 2015.
  22. ^ [1] Archived 5 June 2012 at the Wayback Machine 2009 Brisbane Lions Annual Report (2008 comparison values)
  23. ^ [2] Archived 5 June 2012 at the Wayback Machine 2009 Brisbane Lions Annual Report
  24. ^ [3] Archived 5 June 2012 at the Wayback Machine 2010 Brisbane Lions Annual Report
  25. ^ [4] Archived 5 June 2012 at the Wayback Machine 2011 Brisbane Lions Annual Report
  26. ^ Lions announce financial loss[permanent dead link]
  27. ^ [5] Archived 10 August 2014 at the Wayback Machine 2013 Brisbane Lions Financial Report
  28. ^ "2014 Financial Report" (PDF). Brisbane Bears – Fitzroy Football Club Limited. 31 October 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 July 2015. Retrieved 17 July 2015.
  29. ^ "Brisbane Lions 2015 Annual Report" (PDF). Brisbane Lions. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 March 2016. Retrieved 10 January 2016.
  30. ^ "2016 FINANCIAL REPORT" (PDF). Brisbane Lions. 31 October 2016. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 December 2017. Retrieved 30 November 2017.
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  32. ^ "2018 FINANCIAL REPORT" (PDF). Brisbane Lions. 31 October 2018. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 January 2019. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  33. ^ "Lions record first profit in 12 years". Brisbane Lions. 6 December 2019. Archived from the original on 6 December 2019. Retrieved 6 December 2019.
  34. ^ Tony Eastley (29 October 2009). "Brisbane Lions face court action over new logo". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 10 April 2010.
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  36. ^ a b Naghten, Tom. "AFL rivalries: Alive or dead? We run the rule over these clashes". Sporting News. Retrieved 19 October 2020. ...the Magpies poached Nathan Buckley, the contempt continued. The Lions got their own back with a couple of grand final wins over Collingwood in '02 and '03.
  37. ^ QClash sets TV record - Published 9 May 2011. Retrieved 11 May 2011.
  38. ^ QClash 1: Marcus Ashcroft Medal announced (1 May 2011)
  39. ^ Greg Davis; Andrew Hamilton (21 April 2012). "Lions star Jonathan Brown issues rallying cry ahead of QClash". The Courier-Mail.
  40. ^ "Lions and Port: A history". Retrieved 19 October 2020. Remarkably, the first three encounters between the two sides had resulted in two draws and a two-point thriller
  41. ^ "Lions Rewind: Port Adelaide". Retrieved 19 October 2020. Brisbane v Port Adelaide. During the early 2000s it was one of the biggest rivalries in football.
  42. ^ Allen, Steve (29 September 2015). "Brownlow Medal 2015: remember when Shane Woewodin shocked the footy world?". The Age. Retrieved 4 May 2016.
  43. ^ Burton, Cassie (6 May 2016). "Brisbane Lions submit National AFL Women's League bid". Brisbane Lions. Bigpond. Archived from the original on 25 October 2016. Retrieved 25 October 2016.
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  46. ^ "Emma Zielke named as Brisbane Lions' inaugural AFLW Captain". Archived from the original on 8 January 2017. Retrieved 7 January 2017.
  47. ^ Whitling, Michael (22 June 2016). "Coup for Lions as inaugural women's coach named". Bigpond. Archived from the original on 2 November 2016. Retrieved 25 October 2016.
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  49. ^ "Hyundai driving force behind women's team". Brisbane Lion. Bigpond. 26 September 2016. Archived from the original on 25 October 2016. Retrieved 25 October 2016.

External linksEdit