Pressure has come down on the Brisbane Lions like a building would on a footpath.
After their excellent NAB Cup campaign (which ended in the Lions winning the silverware), the season proper has seen a turnaround and letdown on expectations.
The strong side that displayed courage and intensity has been lacking in the first five rounds, and it has certainly put coach Michael Voss under the knife.
After a surprising round one loss to the Western Bulldogs, the Lions structure and run looked like it had gone out the window. With a promising young brigade of midfielders, backmen and forwards, the main aim now is to not only rebuild, but be confident in attacking the ball.
Taking risks and pushing forward needs to be much higher on the radar as a problem to address. Consistently getting rushed into decisions, or forced down the wings, the Lions are conceding the game in areas where it matters most.
Courageous leader Jonathan Brown is nearing the end of his career, which means the time for the next generation to step up and take charge is now.
On a personal belief, the direction we’re heading in is forwards, but at the same time, there is definitely cause for concern. The Lions are largely being outrun, losing legs in the fourth quarter and succumbing to being punctured in defence.
The hammer is going to come down sooner or later on whether Voss will stay or go, given the precarious position the Lions are in. Having not made a finals series since 2009 (Voss’ first season as coach), and last hoisting the premiership trophy in 2003, success has not come easy for the boys from Brisbane.
Have a look at the playing list, and the potential for achieving the highs of the triple premiership team is there. However, to really give the current powerhouse teams a shakedown, the confidence needs to really be ignited.
Brown is a fantastic leader and incredibly motivated. Unfortunately, the tough as nails captain is finding it much harder to outmuscle his opponents.
If you were to ask the question to coach Michael Voss as to whether the Lions can rebuild, there is no doubt he would say yes. The fans will say yes as well, and that it will just be a matter of time.
A solid young list now needs game time. However, the injury tally is not helping causes, which is therefore increasing Voss’ woes.
Running the ball down the field has been a big concern for the Lions, as opposition teams have continually pressured the defenders into rushing disposal. Forward targets are lacking as well, despite the likes of Rohan Bewick, Ash McGrath and Josh Green attempting to stamp their presence in front of goals.
Looking at the long term prospects of the club, the next generation of players need to step up and take charge now. Do that, and the Lions will be on the up. It might take a few years, but the team that charged to a triple premiership run from 2001-2003 can once again match it with the best of them.