Adams: Lions’ belief like Dogs of 2016
MARCUS Adams says the self-belief that has propelled the Lions into the top four will not be lost on his old mates at the Western Bulldogs when he meets them for the first time at the Gabba this weekend.
Because the Lions defender reckons it feels just like the Bulldogs in 2016, when they stunned the football world by claiming the premiership from seventh place on the AFL ladder.
The Bulldogs had just two members of that year's All-Australian side, with Marcus Bontempelli and Matthew Boyd named on the bench - a sign it was a premiership reliant on a system and players doing their jobs as much as star power.
It is another similarity to the Brisbane Lions of 2019.
"The belief we had in that group in 2016 has a similar vibe to the belief we have at the Lions,'' Adams said.
"It is not a get-carried-away-with-ourselves belief, it is trust in what we are doing and sticking to it and never giving up.''
Adams says there were key moments that season from which the Bulldogs built belief - a commanding win to start the season against the previous year's preliminary finalists Fremantle and then a tough away victory over Port Adelaide in Round 12 were two that came to mind.
At Brisbane, those types of wins have been happening all year, including four in a row since Adams' belated debut for the side in Round 16 after a lengthy injury lay-off.
"For us it was the reigning premiers West Coast in round one then North Melbourne on the road, and it has just snowballed from there,'' he said.
"It started as excitement and now it has turned into genuine belief.''
While fellow recruit Lachie Neale has admitted surprise at how quickly the Lions have climbed the ladder, Adams said he worked out pretty quickly once he arrived in Brisbane the attitude was conducive to rapid improvement.
"I thought we would be pretty good without knowing the ins and outs of the club,'' he said.
"But since arriving it has had a really good feeling in terms of being able to push together in the right direction.
"So from that regard it hasn't surprised me as much as it has some others.''
Adams has the benefit of seeing first-hand how the Bulldogs thrive on self-belief and says that, combined with their form over the past month, makes them a dangerous opponent for every club in the competition.
"They definitely believe they can make the finals and they will think they can have a serious impact when they get there,'' he said.
"And they know the damage can be done from anywhere.
"I reckon the way they have played footy the past month is more of a reflection of what they can do. Their midfield is as good as any and so is their ability to move the ball from transition and stoppage.''