Interview taken at start of season, 2002.
Hes no speed demon, but lively ruckman BEAU McDONALD can also call on the past for inspiration.
McDonald wont quickly forget the pain involved in his first season at the club in 1998, when the Lions finished with the wooden spoon.
It was probably a good experience in hindsight even though it was a bad experience at the time, McDonald said. It gave us a better work ethic because we were last.
We didnt take anything for granted and knew there would be a lot of hard yards to get to the top.
While that experience will ensure the important big man is fully focused in 2002, he has some personal goals anyway aimed at improving his performance.
Im not playing the best footy I can play, I want to take more marks around the ground, kick a few more goals, and add a few more strings to my bow, he said. I want to get all those things right.
As a team, we have to focus on the process of doing things right like we did last year. Hopefully work our way back into that process.
McDonald and Clark Keating were the best ruck combination in the AFL last year, and their tap work combined with the ace midfield group meant the Lions were an explosive mix at the ball-ups.
The Lions dominated the crucial centre clearances in most games, and effected the first six centre clearances of the grand final.
They promise to be a potent mix again in 2002.
We probably could take a little bit of credit but certainly its the midfielders do a lot of the work in that area, McDonald said. You cant take anything away from them certainly its a lot harder to read the ball off hands than it is just to jump into someone and tap it.
They should take most of the credit for the clearances.