AFL finals taste wasn't enough for Lions

Brisbane Lions veteran Stef Martin believes he and his teammates are hungry for another AFL finals bite after their first taste of the action last season.

STEFAN MARTIN.
STEFAN MARTIN. Picture: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

The taste was bittersweet but Brisbane veteran Stef Martin is hungry to sample more AFL finals action.

Martin was one of many Lions to get their first crack at finals football in 2019 as the club ended a decade-long wait for September action.

The 33-year-old had to wait longer than many, having played 180 games across 12 AFL seasons before finally running out in a final.

A smile creeps across Martin's face as his brief finals experience is discussed, even though it ended in back-to-back home defeats at the hands of Richmond and GWS.

"The buzz and the excitement were just everything I could've hoped for and more," Martin told AAP.

"Then to go out in straight sets in home finals after working so hard to get those chances it was heartbreaking, really heartbreaking.

"But that pain is a good thing in a way as well. You don't want to replicate that. You want to avoid that. The excitement of getting back there is huge."

A key theme throughout the Lions' pre-season has been not just getting back to the finals in 2020, but making an impression once they're there.

Despite a stellar regular season in which Chris Fagan's team won 16 matches and missed out on the minor premiership on percentage, Martin says there's no lack of desire within the camp heading into the new campaign.

"We had put ourselves in such a good spot. We had such a good platform to launch into going further," he said.

"I think that was part of what hurt as well.

"Great to see that guys, myself included, who hadn't tasted it - just a taste wasn't enough. We wanted to make hay while the sun shines. We didn't do that but new year, new chance."


AAP