Lions star Dayne Beams delivered a stirring speech during the club’s best and fairest count on Saturday night.
The 28-year old was pipped by a single vote to finish runner-up and awarded the Nigel Lappin Trophy, with skipper Dayne Zoko taking out the club’s top honour, the Merrett-Murray Medal.
And Beams frankly admitted he considered moving back to Victoria while adressing his teammates during his speech.
“I’ve had some struggles through the year to be honest with you,” Beams said.
“I’ve thought about going back to Melbourne and obviously those discussions happened and I’m not going to lie to you, they were thoughts that went through my head. But the one thing I kept coming back to is this group and you blokes.
“I bloody love you, like I really do. The amount of support you’ve shown me over the last six months, it’s been unreal. I use to say to Kelly all the time, I didn’t know where I fitted in the group when I first came here but the last six months have been unbelievable.”
The silky midfielder is coming off a dominant season for the Lions, averaging 29.1 disposals and 5.4 marks in 21 games to earn a position in the 40-man All-Australian squad.
After relinquishing the captaincy to Zorko mid-season and even forced to withdrawal from a game for personal reasons, rumours circulated that the ex-Magpie would request a trade back to Victoria at the end of the season.
But Beams has issued his faith in the club and playing group and will now look to guide the club back into the finals.
“I’ve been able to connect with you on such a good level and I can’t wait to see us progress as a football team and a footy club and have some success, because I know it’s just around the corner,” he said.
“That was a really driving factor in me wanting to stay here and stick around so I love where we are going and I love you boys.”