Brisbane are “increasingly likely” to get an early crack at former teammate Dayne Beams in 2019 following his trade to Collingwood.
Beams ended his four-year stay in the Queensland capital when a move back to the Magpies, with whom he won a premiership in 2010, was finalised on Wednesday.
While the Lions played hard ball at the trade table, the 28-year-old left on good terms after a tumultuous time in his personal life.
Beams originally moved up to Brisbane to be close to his ill father, who passed away in March, and had two years remaining on his contract with the club.
“I was honest as I could be with (the Lions) … I let them know that in two years’ time that I wouldn’t sign another contract and I would be coming back to Melbourne,” he told Channel Nine.
“I wanted this to work for both parties but my preference was to get back to Melbourne as soon as possible.”
Beams, however, could be made to make a trip up to Brisbane in round five next year.
“The AFL loves these rivalry-type games involving departing stars – it looks like this one will happen,” 7 News Melbourne chief football reporter Mark Stevens said.
“The Lions have been lobbying the AFL for a game at the Gabba on Good Friday eve for some time. They want to play Collingwood.
“The official fixture is still a few weeks away – it’s not quite locked in – but sources today say it’s increasingly likely this game will get the green light.”
While the Beams factor plays its part, the Lions’ request to play the grand finalists before a public holiday and long weekend is likely to be a prudent financial move.
Collingwood games have drawn three of Brisbane’s five best crowd figures since the start of the 2015 season, with 31,240, 24,552 and 21,850 attending the games.
Beams farewelled Brisbane and marked his return to the Pies with touching Instagram posts on Thursday.
“To every single Lions fan that has supported me along the way I want to say thank you,” he wrote.
“I don’t expect everyone to understand this decision as we are in an opinion-based industry and world but I do expect you to understand that I genuinely love this playing group and I gave everything to it and I think they are going places.”