Brisbane chief executive Greg Swann has seen enough this season to be pleased with the AFL strugglers’ progress – despite languishing at the bottom of the ladder.
The Lions have three wins from 16 games but are eyeing a string of successes to close the season.
In the final six weeks, Carlton, North Melbourne, Gold Coast and the Western Bulldogs all visit the Gabba – giving Chris Fagan’s side hope of doubling their win tally.
The Lions won just three games in 2016 and four in 2015, finishing 17th in both seasons.
This season, they are 18th, four points and 20 per cent behind North Melbourne.
Regardless of whether they improve their win-loss record, Swann is happy with the gains the club has made this season.
“We’re really encouraged,” he said.
“As I said earlier this year, we’d lost nine games in a row but it was the happiest footy club I’d been in.
“There was no whingeing or bitching or finger-pointing because we knew that we were gradually getting better and the results would come.
“Hopefully, these six games set us up to go into next year really looking to make a significant improvement.”
Any further wins might take a priority pick in this year’s draft off the table.
The Lions were given an extra first-round selection in the 2016 draft.
Swann said he wasn’t concerned about securing an extra pick this year.
“Not putting any pressure on Chris but, with six to go, we might win them all and we won’t get a priority pick,” he said on Thursday.
“Let’s worry about that when it happens.”
Swann pointed to key re-signings – led by gun forward Josh Schache – as further proof of a cultural shift.
“So long as we’ve got a good culture at the footy club, we think (good players will) stay,” he said.
“We had four Queenslanders on our list – now we’ve got 15.
“We want to be a club people come to no matter what your background is.
“We’ve made some inroads there with what we do with our welfare and you can tell it’s a lot better.”
Swann also foreshadowed an announcement on the club’s new training base and playing ground at Springfield before season’s end.
“We’ve got a commitment from the council. We’ve got some submissions in with the state government which are hopefully being reviewed in the coming month or so,” he said.