Lions to stew on sorry AFL finals exit

·2-min read

Harris Andrews expects the "sick taste" of Brisbane's limp finals exit to linger well into the 2023 AFL pre-season and drive the club's bid for improvement over summer.

The vice-captain said the Lions entered Friday night's preliminary final confident of upsetting minor premiers Geelong, but conceded they were "totally outplayed" in the 71-point thrashing at the MCG.

It came after Brisbane had overcome Richmond and Melbourne - the two most recent premiers - in knockout finals to reach the penultimate week of the season for the second time in three years.

"It's super disappointing," Andrews said.

"Geelong just showed us around the contest how to do it and I guess for us it was disappointing to end the year the way we have.

"The last two weeks have been awesome but it really leaves a bit of a sick taste in your mouth.

"We've got a summer ahead of us and we really need to improve.

"Obviously there's a lot of things that we need to improve on to try and get to the same sort of standard that the Cats are at."

Andrews said there were positives to take from a campaign where the Lions won two finals in the same year for the first time under Chris Fagan.

"There's certainly so much scope in there for us," the 160-game defender said.

"We've got a lot of young guys that have got a lot of learning to do and a lot of understanding around how we can get better as a team, and I feel like those young guys can really propel us forward as a team.

"Us guys that have been around a bit longer are going to be driving that and we'll be looking after our own backyard.

"I want to apologise to the Lions fans and members. It was disappointing but there's no doubt we'll come back and be better for it."

Brisbane are resigned to losing out-of-contract key forward Dan McStay, who is likely to join Collingwood, while defender Darcy Gardiner is yet to announce his intentions.

The 26-year-old stopper is a restricted free agent and has fielded interest from Victorian clubs throughout the year.

"We absolutely love and respect Dizz (Gardiner), he's one of our great trademark players with the way he puts his body on the line week to week," Andrews said.

"He's a bit of a battered and bruised character at times but he gets on the horse each week and gets out and plays well.

"I'm sure it will all look after itself. He's much-loved around the footy club so absolutely we want to keep him."