Craig Starcevich addresses his players during Brisbane's clash against Collingwood in round six, 2023. Picture: Getty Images

BRISBANE coach Craig Starcevich is confident his fresh-faced Lions will be up to the finals furnace waiting at Adelaide's Norwood Oval on Saturday.

Although Brisbane has won a premiership and made it to a preliminary final and Grand Final in the past three seasons, 2023 has required the integration of new blood after some big off-season moves.

Lily Postlethwaite and Ellie Hampson have played just one final (2020) apiece, while Poppy Boltz, Jen Dunne and Charlie Mullins (who faces a one-match ban at the Tribunal on Wednesday) are yet to experience the post-season.

Lily Postlethwaite in action during the match between Gold Coast and Brisbane at Heritage Bank Stadium in round seven, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

However, Starcevich said he had full faith in those that were less battle-tested after seeing them in some tight corners during the season.

"They've been around the group long enough to know what the pressure feels like and what stressful situations feel like," he said on Wednesday.

"We've had two games this year against North and Adelaide decided by less than a goal.

"Those players were involved in those games and had key moments in those games.

"They'll take some confidence knowing they've been able to stand up under that pressure.

"They've got wonderful teammates around them to help them. We've got a fair bit of experience in our team even though we're still a pretty young squad.

"Hopefully that all adds up to being able to be composed and embracing it and get to work."


Boltz and Dunne have been revelations, helping to solidify the key defensive post left vacant by Kate Lutkins, who recently gave birth to her first child.

Starcevich, who has inked a two-year contract extension, admitted he was apprehensive heading into the season with so many new faces from what had previously been a settled outfit.

However, following Saturday night’s rousing Grand Final rematch victory over Melbourne, they again have a double chance and an opportunity to push for a second flag.


The coach said his team’s 3-0 record against fellow top four teams meant little, though.

"It's helpful, although it's not everything," he said.

"The boys talk about September being a completely new season. For us, November is the same.

"It's high stakes now, we all want to achieve, we all want to finish number one, but it's difficult.

"Past form is nice and recent form is nice, but you know when it comes to game day it's going to be on from the get-go.

"You can take confidence knowing you're at least at the level.

"If that's your baseline, that you're at the level of what the other three clubs are doing around the mark there, that will fill you with some sort of confidence.

"The next part is to bring the effort and work to compete hard enough to get your nose in front and get the result."