THE BRISBANE Lions remain hopeful of luring A-grade talent to bolster their list over the off-season although they know it will be a difficult task.
Coach Justin Leppitsch said the Lions had several youngsters on the list with the potential to develop into A-grade players but it was no secret the club needed to add some mature bodies to the line-up.
However they would not add someone just so they had a more even spread of birth dates on the list going into 2015.
They are determined to be discerning in their selections.
"It's very public that we're trying to bolster our team with mature talent but not C-grade talent, not even B-grade talent," Leppitsch said.
"I think we've got enough A-grade talent that is going to be there in a few years' time so we want to get good players into our organisation. There is a bit of work to do that and obviously there are a few things that need to happen."
Club CEO Greg Swann recently made it clear the club had enough space in the salary cap to offer big money to the right player but Leppitsch said there were other hurdles to jump.
He said club needed to have the finances to fund the salary cap, the player needed to want to come and then the deal had to get done.
"It is not as easy as a lot of other sports around the world where you just throw open the book and someone comes. There is a fair bit that goes into it," Leppitsch said.
Although Leppitsch stopped short of describing the season as satisfying (the triple premiership player said only premiership-winning seasons earned that description) he conceded forward steps had been taken.
"We've unearthed some talent, a few have retired [and] a fair bit has happened since day one when I walked into the door until now so I think it has given us a good platform for the future, but we have still got a lot of work to do," Leppitsch said.
The Lions recruited well through the NAB AFL Draft this season with James Aish, Lewis Taylor, Daniel McStay, Darcy Gardiner and Zac O'Brien all impressive.
That five made up half of the 10 players who made their debut during the season with Jordon Bourke playing his first game in round 23. Tom Cutler, Michael Close, Nick Robertson and Jono Freeman also played their first game.
After losing the first five games, the Lions won seven of their last 17 games to finish a respectable 15th.
They defeated North Melbourne, Collingwood and Gold Coast along the way.
Leppitsch said the difficult task of beating Geelong was made doubly so with the late withdrawals of duo Tom Rockliff and Dayne Zorko.
Leppitsch said the team was outsmarted on the night but he was pleased with what he saw of Stefan Martin and Matthew Leuenberger working in tandem in the ruck.
Despite the loss and the mountain of work ahead in the off-season Leppitsch kept the grin close to hand until the end.
Asked whether the club would like to snare some A-grade talent in the off-season, he gave nothing away.
"It would be nice. I know where you're going with this. It would be nice to snare one," Leppitsch said.