Brisbane’s Jarryd Lyons knows the AFL club must capitalise on it’s month-long Gabba stay when the season re-launches next month, even if there is no crowd there to help.
The Lions went 10-1 at home on their way to second in the regular season last year, peaking with a one-point win over Geelong in round 22 to delight a crowd that had swelled with Brisbane’s rise.
With South Australian and West Australian clubs based in Queensland when the season resumes next month, it allows Brisbane a clear run of four-straight Gabba games which will be a first for the club.
It’s a change of fortunes not lost on Lyons, although he estimates the home crowd boosted the Lions “by 15 to 20 per cent especially in a close game” last season.
“That Geelong game when crowd got involved, it certainly lifts you over the line,” he said.
“We thought we’d be going into (interstate) hubs for eight, nine, 10 weeks at one stage, so guys with families like myself would’ve found that a bit hard to swallow.
“It’s been a full circle thing, with four games at home for the first four weeks.”
The Lions will continue to train on the Gabba several times a week before their June 13 round-two clash with Fremantle.
The Dockers will be based on the Gold Coast alongside West Coast, while Port Adelaide and Adelaide will join them from round two unless South Australia’s quarantine protocols change.
Lyons is confident the side’s home form can continue even in an empty stadium.
“The crowd was amazing last year … but I think we just played the ground really well,” he said.
“It is a bit wider and quick when you move the ball really well.
“(We have) the advantage of training here three days a week for the next four weeks, so we’ll certainly get used to it again.”