Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Decade of Pride: The History of the Brisbane Lions (Mark Opolion)

A Decade of Pride: The History of the Brisbane Lions
Mark Opolion

Blurb: An historic merger between the Fitzroy and North Melbourne football club seemed inevitable, but on 4 July 1996 the football world was shocked by the AFL's acceptance of the Brisbane Bears' proposal to merge with Fitzroy.

In their 10th season, the Bears were just becoming a force to be reckoned with, while Fitzroy, a proud and traditional club with eight premierships to its name, was in receivership. The Bears finished one game short of the 1996 Grand Final and Fitzroy collected the wooden spoon with just one win. Many long-time Fitzroy supporters vowed never to follow the Brisbane Lions. Bears supporters had reservations.

Officially 'born' on 1 November 1996, the Brisbane Lions were expected to be an instant powerhouse, yet only limped into the finals before a disastrous 1998 - both on-field and off-field - netted a wooden spoon.

Enter Leigh Matthews as coach.

A former Hawthorn champion, widely regarded as the VFL/AFL's greatest player, Matthews had coached Collingwood to a drought-breaking premiership in 1990. The Matthews regime commenced in 1999 and realised a history-making flag in 2001. But that was nowhere near enough for the hungry Lions.

A Decade of Pride is a chronicle looking at the ground-breaking merger, initial problems and disasters and acceptance from previously disgruntled supporters. It is a fascinating look into all of the Brisbane Lions' major on-field and off-field developments en route to claiming an amazing three consecutive premierships, with a host of champions, including Michael Voss, Alastair Lynch, Jason Akermanis, Simon Black, Nigel Lappin, Jonathan Brown and Justin Leppitsch.

A Decade of Pride also looks at how this brilliant Lions unit - regarded by many as the greatest of all time - has begun the rebuilding process on the back of losing their attempt at equalling Collingwood's long-standing record of four straight flags.

ISBN: 1920997024 (Paperback)
Year: 2006
Publisher: Pennon Publishing
Pages: 328 (Non-Fiction)


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