A potential return to Brisbane’s in-form side from three-time premiership winner Jack Gunston, is welcomed by Lions’ forward Lincoln McCarthy. Recovery from a knee injury sustained during the AFL finals series may allow 31-year-old Gunston to reintegrate into the team.
The medial collateral ligament damage incurred during the home win over Adelaide on August 12th has kept Gunston out of play. However, Lions have maintained their momentum, winning three consecutive games — the latest being the qualifying finals victory over Port Adelaide — and securing a spot in the preliminary final on the upcoming Saturday at the Gabba. The anticipated match-up will be against the victor of Friday night’s Melbourne vs Carlton encounter at MCG.
Brisbane’s coach, Chris Fagan, may pick Gunston for the preliminary final considering his previous successful stint at Hawthorn that could produce an invaluable tactful edge during such an important match.
McCarthy, reflecting on Gunston’s past victories, shared his enthusiasm for his possible return, saying, “He’s such a calm, intelligent operator. Hopefully, he regains fitness and becomes available.”
Despite Gunston’s absence, Brisbane’s forwarding line has shown commendable performance. McCarthy believes that the return wouldn’t cause any disruption, thanks to the flexibility and adaptability developed within the team over the years. According to him, the ability to step up and fulfil varying roles in different scenarios, both on the forward line and midfield, is their strength.
“Jack’s versatility is his advantage, combined with the experience he brings from the finals. If his body is in the right condition, he’ll be fit to go, although his selection isn’t my call,” McCarthy further added.
With the team preparing for a third preliminary final appearance in four seasons, McCarthy reveals high spirits within Brisbane’s camp. He reminisces about past unsuccessful attempts, but he believes that each hurdle only made them stronger and increased their determination to achieve the ultimate goal.
He hinted at the anticipation and buoyancy saying, “I feel a little bit calmer about what’s ahead for us. The collective excitement within the group is tangible – however, actions speak louder than words, it’s time for us to perform and prove our worth.”