Brandon Starcevich in action during the preliminary final between Brisbane and Carlton at The Gabba on September 23, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

BRISBANE defender Brandon Starcevich says the Lions have returned to pre-season training with "fire in our bellies" after getting within a goal of winning last season's premiership.

Admitting it took some time to process the four-point Grand Final loss to Collingwood during the off-season, Starcevich says the attitude has been spot-on since returning a couple of weeks ago.

With a settled, experienced squad, the 24-year-old is confident the pieces are already in place to give the Lions another chance at an elusive flag in 2024.

"I don't think we need to change much," Starcevich said on Wednesday morning.

"Our best football is obviously pretty good. There'll be a few little things to tinker and change-up but we're not going to re-write the whole playbook."

A dejected Brandon Starcevich (left) looks on after Brisbane's loss to Collingwood in the 2023 Grand Final at the MCG. Picture: AFL Photos

Coming off an equal fifth-placed finish in the club’s best and fairest – 12 months after he finished fourth – Starcevich has inked a new contract that ties him to the club until the end of 2025.

The deal will take the lockdown defender to free agency.

"Everyone was keen to get back," he said.

"We've got that fire in our bellies now to get back and do it again.

"The initial period after (the Grand Final) it still hurts a little bit, but you look at the season as a whole and we had a lot to be proud of.

"We didn't end the way we wanted to, but we got there and gave ourselves a chance. We're happy with how most of the year went and can take a lot out of it."