New Lyons sticks while Suns don’t shine
Right place, right time.
Jarryd Lyons' simple response to the sliding doors moment that saw him ditched from wooden spoon favourites Gold Coast and snapped up by premiership contenders Brisbane is not only diplomatic, it is also humble.
Lachie Neale has become the poster boy for Brisbane's surge into the top four but as coach Chris Fagan said after the Lions' upset victory over Port Adelaide, Lyons's significant contribution cannot be ignored.
The 26-year-old prefers not to look back at last season when Suns coach Stuart Dew, fixated on his perceived shortcomings with his outside run, put a black line through his name.
Nor is he looking too far forward - he's with the coach on that one.
Fagan reckons to focus on anything beyond the next opponent opens the potential to overlook something in preparation that can bring everything unstuck.
He won't even mention the "F" word until he's got the required wins to make a September appearance a certainty.
Lyons is just having too much fun living in the moment.
"I think that is the best part, the journey to get there is awesome for us,'' he said.
"We have never been in this situation.
"As the saying goes about riding the wave, that is what we have been doing.''
His wave swept him up the highway and the AFL ladder, and along the way he also became a poster boy for Brisbane's mantra of "training your weapons".
Fagan saw what the Suns didn't, namely elite ball winning, clean hands and a great footy IQ.
Wonder if Jarryd Lyons would get a game in the Suns midfield this year?? 🤔🤔🤔— Campbell brown (@Browndogg_30x) July 14, 2019
"This time of the year last year I was probably out of the side and questioning how I was going about my footy and where I was with my career,'' Lyons said.
"I was probably a case of being in the right place at the right time and taking advantage of the opportunity, I can't thank Brisbane enough for that.
"I'm not being disrespectful but I knew I was going a bit better than how they (Suns) saw I was going.
"I was carrying a bit of an injury last year which affected my outside running and spread, so I can understand why they said that. But I had the surgery and I knew I was going to bounce back.''
Lyons had great friends at the Suns and remains close to several players. He was in contract and could have stayed on if he had chosen too.
Brisbane's offer of a three-year deal offered security, but Fagan's pitch promised much more.
"It wasn't so much them kicking me out as me seeing the writing on the wall,'' Lyons said.
"And at Brisbane I could see an exciting team that played with a lot of flair and were in games a lot last year.
"When I had my chat with 'Fages' he presented very well where he thought this club could go and what it could achieve.
"He is really good at creating belief, that is what he has done for the club and for me."