After a grand final finish in 2023, the Lions added to their list through free agency, trade and the draft in the hope of going one better next year.

Home to a lethal midfield group and the competition's best attacking contingent, Brisbane strengthened their backline but likely won't welcome new recruit Tom Doedee until the second half of the year.

Young gun Will Ashcroft is in a similar position after suffering his own ACL injury this year, with the Lions' grand final side to be buoyed by the pair's eventual inclusions.

A backline conundrum and a stacked midfield group will place some headaches among the selection committee, but the Lions are well-placed to contend for the premiership in 2024.



1. Defenders

Brisbane bolstered their rearguard options with the addition of Adelaide free agent Tom Doedee, who is expected to miss the opening half of the 2024 season with an ACL injury.

He'll eventually slot into a role alongside Harris Andrews and Jack Payne on the Lions' last line, while a question on whether Darcy Gardiner also has a place will need to be answered.

The key defender played just four games last year but was selected ahead of the incumbent Payne, with a trio of talls and Doedee potentially too much height down. It's likely one of Gardiner or Ryan Lester will start the new season before Doedee is cleared to return.

With Daniel Rich making way, the Lions now turn to the future with Darcy Wilmot, Keidean Coleman and Conor McKenna all set to provide some spring out of the backline, while Brandon Starcevich continue in his role as the man to shut down the opposition's leading small forward.

Keidean Coleman during the round 22 AFL match between St Kilda and Brisbane on August 12, 2022 (Photo by Cameron Grimes / Zero Digital Media)

Noah Answerth is another depth option for the Lions and will look to break back into the senior side after a hindered past few seasons, while James Madden, Jaxon Prior, Carter Michael and Darragh Joyce round out their backline depth chart.

The Lions acquired Western Australian tall Zane Zakostelsky at the National Draft, but have called for patience with the raw defender-ruck hybrid.