Brisbane Lions General Manager of Football David Noble told Nick Dal Santo and Sam Edmund on SEN Breakfast that delisting players was never easy.
Brisbane yesterday confirmed that the Lions were not offering Ben Keays, Josh Walker and Ryan Bastinac a contract for the 2020 season.
“It’s always difficult, but you’ve got to make an assessment. We are bound by the rules to make some changes," Noble said.
Noble said that competition within the Brisbane list had increased significantly over the last few seasons.
“Internal competition has been pretty hot for us in the last 18 months…I think what’s happened is that internally there has been a lot of elevation of our players who have continued to improve, they’ve worked hard to change and adapt their game to a higher level…and we just feel that there are other guys in front of that group (Keays, Walker and Bastinac).”
The Lions lost both finals they played in in 2019 which Noble says was “disappointing” however many positives to consider.
“We can’t not understand and really celebrate the way we went about the year…there was a lot that we took away in a positive manner and the way Chris (Fagan) summarised that was challenging the players to come back, ready to go again.”
Asked about Brisbane’s draft prospects, Noble said the club would like to get a bit higher in the National Draft, but have started to look at what they could get with the picks they currently have (16, 21, 34, 48, 52 and 72).
“We’ve identified probably four or five in the draft period, we’d like to get a bit higher, we think that would help…but we’ve certainly started to look at what the group of picks we’ve got at the moment would deliver,” Noble said.