Robinson: No excuses for Lions not to deliver
Brisbane enforcer Mitch Robinson says the Lions cannot use the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis as an excuse if they fail to reach their high expectations for 2020.
Robinson spent the enforced two months away from the game pursuing his expanding gaming and podcast interests, training with teammate and housemate Keidean Coleman and homeschooling his children.
But the 30-year-old was back at his day job this week with Lions players training in groups of eight before resuming contact work on Monday ahead of the resumption of the competition on June 11.
Brisbane's mantra since senior coach Chris Fagan took the reins at the Gabba has been about constant improvement.
They have not used the F-word - finals - when asked about their 2020 ambitions but given they roared to second on the ladder in 2019, a top eight berth would be a pass mark.
"This season is about who adapts the best and I believe we've started at the highest level (of coronavirus protocols) possible so if it does get eased, we'll be able to handle it best,'' Robinson said.
"For us it's about improving. If we bring what we brought last year again this year - we have high expectations in our four walls.
"We haven't publicly come out and said we are going to play finals. We are going to rock up to every game and try to win every game. We are going to adapt the best we can.
"There's not going to be any excuses from us at the Brisbane Lions. We are going to try and win as many games as possible … the boys are in ripping nick and we are ready to go.''
Robinson said three weeks to prepare for a full-tilt premiership match should be enough time.
"In terms of being ready to go, the onus is back on the players. We had eight weeks to stay fit and healthy. Some exercise we couldn't do … but we could all run,'' he said.
"We still had access to physios around the clock. We had a 12-week training block before the eight weeks so we've got a great base there.
"We've had a great network and support system around us. Fages was checking on us - probably too much - ringing us once or twice a week.
"The only thing we need to get stuck into is the physicality of the game. I dare say next week we'll be starting to ramp that up with match practice and tackling.''
Robinson said his wide array of off-field interests were a welcome distraction during the isolation period.
"That's probably the thing that kept me focused, my time in footy is not forever and I can kind of see the end date after a few more years in the system. It was a good chance for me to see what it's like post-footy,'' the former Carlton player said.
"I started focusing on things I can put into place now that can help me after footy. I had a pretty good time. I found a new appreciation for teachers.
"When you are live streaming, there are a lot of people tuning in now because they are isolated themselves. I do it because I love doing it and it keeps me busy.
"When I first got up here (after being delisted by the Blues) I didn't have any hobbies and my psych said you've got to start finding something because going to the movies by yourself isn't one to brag about."
Originally published as Robinson: No excuses for Lions not to deliver