Craig Starvervich holds the cup aloft after Brisbane's win over North Melbourne in the 2023 NAB AFLW Grand Final at Ikon Park on December 3, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

BRISBANE coach Craig Starcevich insists the dramatic changes to the Lions' list last off-season does not make his side's premiership any sweeter.

Starcevich has been there from the start of the Lions' AFLW journey in 2017, guiding them to a competition-best five Grand Final appearances.

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Brisbane has managed to continually defy expansion raids to remain in contention for premiership glory.

They lost All-Australian stars Emily Bates, Greta Bodey (both Hawthorn) and Jesse Wardlaw (St Kilda) during the last off-season, while former player Tahlia Randall was in North's colours on Sunday.

Starcevich says the club was quick to adjust to the list changes at the end of last season.


"It's probably something we'll reflect on a little bit later," he said.

"It gets talked about a lot because it's a story from your angle (the media) but for us it's a distraction more than anything else.

"From our point of view, it was just onwards with what we've got, try to find the best combo, bring new people in."

Lions wing Sophie Conway said the player turnover made Sunday's win over North Melbourne even more satisfying than the club's breakthrough flag against Adelaide in 2021.


"We have people come and go consistently and look at what we continue to achieve," she told

"I think this one feels even better than 2021. Especially after what we've been through, we're going to enjoy this one.

"(It feels different) I think because of what happened to us in the off-season. I'm not going to lie, everyone wrote us off, no one jumped on our bandwagon, apart from ourselves."

Starcevich said he wasn't just determined to avenge the club's AFLW Grand Final loss from last year, but he wanted his team to play the right way.


Sunday's win came 12 months after Brisbane went down to Melbourne in a Grand Final in which a combined four goals were kicked.

"A seven goal to four (game), that's a much better outcome than what we had last year when we were two goals each," Starcevich said.

"I know we lost (last year) but it sort of grated on me a little bit that we put on not such a good spectacle.

"I hope the general punter likes our style of footy, because we're in a phase now where we've got to get people watching.

"We're lucky to have won it this year, and that's great. But the bigger task for us and AFLW generally is to get people watching, and there's a lot of attractive footy getting played this year."