Captain Koenen the beating heart of Lions

Brisbane Lions captain Bre Koenen hasn't spoken too much to 2021 AFLW title-winning captain Emma Zielke about lifting the premiership cup, but she has visualised what it would be like to do it herself.

"I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought about it. I think everybody has," Koenen said when asked if she had visualised such a moment.

Koenen, a defender, was quick to say that getting past the Adelaide Crows in Friday night's preliminary final at Metricon Stadium was the first task on her agenda.

Following in the retired Zielke's footsteps was no easy task. With back-to-back competitions in 2021-2022 after the cancelled season due to COVID-19 in 2020, Koenen had a crack at the captaincy last season.

It took her a while to find her feet but now the 27-year-old physiotherapist is thriving in the role.

"I think it was just balancing life, footy and everything else and how much I need to work on myself as much as helping everybody else out," Koenen said when asked about her first year as captain.

"This season I am feeling a lot more settled in myself and a lot more confident in my playing ability.

"I think having that first season as captain under my belt has given me a push-off into this one. I feel a lot more comfortable and know what the group needs to expect from me and what my role is in the team."

Forward Greta Bodey said Koenen had done a great job leading the Lions to the minor premiership this season and was a leader the players had embraced.

"This year she has had an incredible season on the field but we just love her off the field," Bodey said.

"She brings so much calmness and leads by example. She is always doing extras and we take a lot of comfort from what she does.

"I wish I could take an overhead grab or contested mark like she can. I am working on it but it is good having her down-back. I always feel safe when the other team goes down our back fifty."

Koenen will take excellent form into the preliminary final. She was one of six Lions, including Bodey, Ally Anderson, Nat Grider, Tahlia Hickie and Jesse Wardlaw, named in the AFLW All-Australian squad for this season

"There are some amazing players named in that team. It was a massive honour and I am very happy I was named alongside five other Lions," Koenen said.