BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA – NOVEMBER 25: New recruit Grant Birchall poses for a photo after a Brisbane Lions AFL training session on November 25, 2019 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/AFL Photos/Getty Images)
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA – NOVEMBER 25: New recruit Grant Birchall poses for a photo after a Brisbane Lions AFL training session on November 25, 2019 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/AFL Photos/Getty Images)

Why Birchall had Brisbane jitters

He's got four premiership flags and 248 AFL games to his name but Grant Birchall still felt the new-club jitters when reporting for pre-season duties at Brisbane.

The former Hawk trained with his Lions teammates for the first time on Monday and was seen running laps in a positive sign following his injury plagued 2019 at Hawthorn.

 

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Birchall managed just three games at the back end of the season following a string of PCL injuries, calf and hamstring issues but says he's feeling refreshed and ready - albeit a little nervous - to tackle a new chapter under his old mates Chris Fagan and Luke Hodge.

 

Grant Birchall is ready to rip in at new club Brisbane following his off-season shift from Hawthorn. Picture: Bradley Kanaris/AFL Photos/Getty Images
Grant Birchall is ready to rip in at new club Brisbane following his off-season shift from Hawthorn. Picture: Bradley Kanaris/AFL Photos/Getty Images

"It's a bit of a change, I was a little bit anxious driving in (to training) this morning but really excited as well just looking forward to meeting the guys and training hard and getting into it," Birchall said.

"It's been a pretty tough few years for me with my body so I thought a fresh start up here would do me a world of good.

"I'm sure the body will appreciate the warmer weather so looking forward to it - they (Brisbane) really had an exciting season so I'm just pumped to be a part of it."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At 31, Birchall isn't getting any younger but the veteran showed enough in his three appearances, averaging over 20 disposals including a 24-disposal game against Brisbane in Round 19.

 

Lions recruit Grant Birchall (left) celebrates his fourth flag alongside teammate Jack Gunston after winning the 2015 decider. Picture: Michael Klein
Lions recruit Grant Birchall (left) celebrates his fourth flag alongside teammate Jack Gunston after winning the 2015 decider. Picture: Michael Klein

The man himself insists he's still capable of matching it with the best in the business and maintains his body will hold up for at least another season - hopefully two or three - with the right training and management.

"I feel as though I can still play at this level - I think I proved that with a couple of games that I played last year so yeah, just need to get the work in and have full faith in the guys here," Birchall said.

"Body's holding up pretty well, got through day one which is great, so yeah just very basic sort of stuff at the moment so the guys can see what I'm like and how they're going to deal with me moving forward."

News Corp Australia

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