Robinson credits Fagan with AFL turnaround

·2-min read

A deep conversation about life and football with coach Chris Fagan has been revealed as the catalyst for Brisbane Lions veteran Mitch Robinson's stunning AFL form over the past two months.

The Lions hard-man had a slow start to the season, averaging just 11 disposals in successive defeats to Sydney and Geelong over the opening two rounds.

It prompted renowned man-manager Fagan to sit down with Robinson after the loss to the Cats and address any troubles the heart-on-sleeve wingman was facing.

The pair spoke about private off-field concerns and Robinson's future in a discussion that took place while Brisbane were stuck in lockdown limbo in Melbourne amid rapidly changing coronavirus travel restrictions in March.

Subsequently, Robinson had 23 disposals in a much-needed win for the Lions over Collingwood in round three and has been steadily improving his output to the point where he racked up 30 touches and a career-best four goals in last week's thumping of GWS.

"(The conversation) just kind of gave me an understanding of where I was and from then on it felt like I had a little bit of something to prove again and a little bit of fire in the belly," Robinson said on Tuesday.

"He (Fagan) was doing that through the pre-season, too, just trying to get me to go to another level, and from round three onwards I've been playing some pretty consistent footy.

"He's been around the traps for a while and he knows what works with some players and I think he got me going."

Robinson, who turns 32 next week, is out of contract at the end of this year but feels as though he could play for another two or three seasons.

"My mind and body feels as good as I was when I was 21," Robinson said.

"I play on the wing now, I only had three contested possessions on the weekend, so I wasn't really crashing bodies and packs - I was kind of just sitting on the outside.

"I feel like I can get a bit of longevity out of my new role and it feels good."

Brisbane (8-3) are on a seven-match winning streak and take on ladder leaders Melbourne (10-1) this week in a clash between genuine premiership contenders.

The Friday night blockbuster was scheduled to be played in Alice Springs but the AFL is set to confirm a venue change on Tuesday as a result of Melbourne's latest COVID-19 outbreak and associated travel restrictions.

"It's going to be huge for us and we can really see where we're at as a footy team," Robinson said.

"All the boys and the coaches are very excited about that."