AFL: Brisbane Lions star Linc McCarthy seeking improvement

Lions forward Linc McCarthy will strive to be a “better teammate” this season as he bids to not only help Brisbane win the AFL premiership, but also secure his own future.

McCarthy, 30, has entered the final year of Lions contract, and is yet to start talks with the club about a new deal.

“I’m keeping it pretty low key,” McCarthy said ahead of the Lions’ second pre-season intra-club trial at Springfield on Friday.

“No discussions as of yet, but I’m pretty keen to just play footy at the moment. I’m sure in due time it’ll roll out.”

And when negotiations do start, McCarthy wants to be in the strongest possible position to secure another Brisbane contract, having been an integral part of the Lions plans for the past five seasons after a tough period at Geelong, where he made only 29 top-flight appearances in five years.

The South Australian product has resurrected his career in Brisbane, having played in 114 of the club’s 118 AFL matches since his arrival ahead of the 2019 season.

However, that’s not enough for McCarthy, who wants to improve as a player and win a flag with the Lions after experiencing the pain of a grand final loss – by only four points – last year against Collingwood.

“I want to get better at being able to apply more efforts,” he said.

“Defensively last year, I played a little bit higher up the ground. You’ve got to be able to apply lots of efforts up the ground but then get back inside the (attacking) 50 (metre zone) and be dangerous, or help your talls.

“The key one for me is give myself more opportunity to be a better teammate, and that’s to be able to apply more efforts and get back inside 50 and be dangerous.”

He said the Lions – who start their 2024 premiership campaign on March 8 against Carlton at the Gabba – could not afford to “disappointed for too long” about their grand final agony if they wanted to go “one better” this season.

“You’ve got to kick yourself back into gear and get to work. If you really want it, that’s what you’ve got to do,” McCarthy said.

“Just because you made a grand final year the year before doesn’t mean you start in second again. You’ve got to build it all the way back up.

“We’ve just come back as hungry as ever. We’ve got some belief there that we can really match it with the top teams, and we showed that all the way through last year and in the finals.

“We’re just really motivated to go one better.”

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