AFL: Dunkley confident of Lions’ premiership hopes

Star Lions recruit Josh Dunkley is adamant Brisbane can overcome the loss of powerful defender Marcus Adams to contend for this year’s AFL premiership.

Adams has been placed on Brisbane’s inactive list and is set to miss the entire season due to a delayed concussion he suffered after the Lions’ Round 21 match last year against Carlton.

Dunkley was shattered for his former Western Bulldogs teammate but said that Adams’ health was the priority.

“It’s a shame that he’s struggling with the concussion stuff,” Dunkley said.

“I saw first-hand Liam Picken … at the Dogs had a similar thing and couldn’t come back to play footy.

“We’ve got to look after those guys and make sure that their health and well-being is first in mind.

“I’ve been in contact with him (Adams) and he’s obviously a little bit disappointed that he can’t be out there playing but at the same time he’s just got to look after himself and do what’s best for him.”

Despite the loss of Adams being a blow for the Lions, Dunkley said Brisbane had more than sufficient cover for the sidelined star.

“There are definitely a lot of players there that can come and fill in for Marcus,” he said

“Jack Payne was good in match sim (simulation on Wednesday) after having a bit of an interrupted pre-season so far, so there are definitely the calibre of players to fill in for Marcus even though he’s a really important player for us.”

Midfielder Dunkley said he was also more than happy to help out in defence.

“I’ve always prided myself on the defensive side of my game,” he said.

“The tackles, the smothers, the spoils, getting back to help out my teammates … it’s definitely something that I’ll try to improve and help us got to that next step.

“The boys there have already shown some pretty good stuff and being able to make a preliminary final (last year) is pretty impressive … so to be able to play my role for the team is all I’m looking to do.

“I am really focused on becoming a big-game player for the Lions and really add to the great list the club has put together of experienced and emerging talent.

The Lions on Thursday announced that Caltex had become a co-major partner of the club for at least the next two years.

The Caltex brand will feature on the front of Brisbane’s home guernsey and on the back of the Lions’ away guernsey.

Lions chairman Andrew Wellington said: “We are delighted to have the Caltex brand joining the Brisbane Lions at a pivotal time for the club as we continue to evolve on and off the field.”

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