Last year it was 2019’s straight sets AFL finals exit which spurred Brisbane in their pre-season.
Twelve months on a different heartbreak is the Lions’ motivation for 2021.
Brisbane snapped two big hoodoos in 2020, winning their first final since 2009 and ending a 14-game losing run to Richmond in the process.
But with a home grand final just one step away, the Lions were defeated by Geelong in a preliminary final at the Gabba and it’s a missed opportunity which still stings.
Small forward Cam Rayner was just one of several Lions who opted to return to Brisbane early, giving up a rare chance to spend time with family in Victoria in the process.
“Even though it’s good to go down for a week and see my family in Melbourne I felt like this year would be better if I stayed up here and trained with the boys,” Rayner said.
“My family understood that as well. They love having me come down there for a week but I pretty much came straight back here and got to work.
“We’ve got unfinished business from last year and we really want to work towards that.”
The 21-year-old is yet to watch the 40-point loss to the Cats but says using the disappointment of that defeat as motivation had been discussed almost as soon as the team had come off the field.
“We spoke about it. We know what we did wrong and we know what we’ve got to fix,” he said.
“There’s things we’re going to try and change this year and I think we’re putting things in place to do that now.”
Rayner has also hailed the inclusion of Joe Daniher, with the former Essendon spearhead making an immediate impression on his new teammates.
“He’s fitted in straight away. I remember the first time he came out, had a couple of beers with us once the trade went through and got to know us really well,” Rayner said.
“He’s been awesome. Fitted in seamlessly. He’s doing very well.”