New Brisbane midfielder Dayne Beams is confident that the improving Lions can make the AFL finals next season.
Dayne Beams’ one-word response said plenty.
The 2010 Collingwood premiership player and 2012 club best and fairest was asked on Friday which team was closer to their next AFL premiership window – the Magpies or his new home, Brisbane.
In his first media conference as a Lions player, Beams could have dead-batted the question away.
But he simply answered “Brisbane”.
Apart from adding even more spice to his massive trade, Beams’ candid assessment also put a fresh focus on two of next season’s more intriguing teams.
A year ago, the Lions were in freefall after the sacking of coach Michael Voss and the loss of five players because of the “go-home” factor.
They finished this season strongly under new coach Justin Leppitsch, while Beams and Geelong’s Allen Christensen will boost a talented young list.
“I have no doubt with the list we have, we can play finals in 2015,” Beams said.
Injury problems ultimately cost Collingwood a finals berth this season and only nine members of their 2010 premiership team are still at the club.
Apart from losing Beams, veteran onballer Luke Ball has also retired and Heritier Lumumba has gone to Melbourne.
But Collingwood also beefed up their list during the trade period by recruiting Levi Greenwood, Travis Varcoe and Jack Crisp.
And coach Nathan Buckley is bullish that they can return to power sooner than people expect.
Two days ago, Buckley used the analogy of stopping the bus to let people off when talking about players who no longer wanted to be at Collingwood.
“I guess I’m off the bus now,” Beams said.
But Beams also said Magpies president Eddie McGuire and Buckley were understanding about why he wanted to leave.
He revealed he also spoke to Buckley before making the controversial decision to miss the club’s best and fairest function.
Beams is adamant that family – in particular his father Phillip’s serious health problems – was the only reason he sought a trade to Brisbane.
He said Phillip was making good progress.
“My old man is a fighter – he’s not dying,” Beams said.
The move to the Lions also means Beams will play alongside his younger brother Claye for the first time.
“For me, it’s a dream come true – my brother is my best mate,” he said.
Beams is equally upbeat about round one, with the AFL scheduling the Lions to host Collingwood at the ‘Gabba.
“It will be interesting … I’m really looking forward to it,” he said.
“I love those sorts of challenges, it fires me up and I’m sure they’ll come out fired up as well.
“Hopefully they pack the Gabba out.”