DAYNE Beams insists he had fully intended to remain with Brisbane when he made his now-infamous speech at the Lions' best and fairest count last year.
At the club’s end-of-season function in September, Beams admitted he had considered returning to Melbourne after his father's death from cancer in Brisbane early in 2018, before reassuring the Lions faithful by emotionally pledging his loyalty to the club.
However, in the NAB AFL Trade Period the next month, the star midfielder was sensationally granted his wish for a trade back to Collingwood on compassionate grounds while he still had two seasons remaining on his contract with Brisbane.
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Speaking to the media ahead of his first clash with his former teammates at the Gabba on Thursday night, Beams provided greater clarity around his thought processes at the time.
"At the time of that best and fairest speech, I was informed that I was going to be staying at the club. So when I got up and did that speech, I was a Brisbane Lions player and I was staying a Brisbane Lions player," Beams said on Tuesday.
It really only unfolded late in the piece that I was going to potentially end up back here at Collingwood.
"They were a weird set of circumstances, and there was a bit of stuff going on from (Brisbane's) end with (Fremantle's) Lachie Neale and (Gold Coast's) Jarryd Lyons and a couple of their new recruits and what they were going to do with draft picks.
"Once it became a reality, I was really keen to pursue it and get it done."
Beams, who signed a four-year deal with the Pies, also provided clarity on the reasons for his late withdrawal from the Magpies' clash with the Western Bulldogs on Friday night.
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"I'm feeling better than I was last week. I had gastro on the Monday and then had the migraine on the Friday afternoon before the game. It wasn't the ideal prep," the 29-year-old said.
During a light session at Olympic Park Oval on Tuesday, defender Darcy Moore left the track midway through and didn't return, but coach Nathan Buckley said the young star would be fit to face the Lions.
Midfield hard nut Taylor Adams copped a knock that resulted in a cut eye, but Buckley said he would also be fine.
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Gun ruckman Brodie Grundy was on modified duties to freshen him up after shouldering a heavy in-game workload.
Young midfielder Tyler Brown didn't train after hurting a shoulder in the VFL while defender Jack Madgen was on a restricted program after a bout of concussion.
Beams knows what it's like to play against a former club, having previously played for Brisbane against Collingwood, and insisted that "it's honestly just another game".
"It's funny because when we used to play Collingwood at the Gabba I used to get booed by Collingwood fans and (they were) louder than the Brisbane fans. It could be interesting – I could actually get cheered," he said.
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Beams has remained in regular contact with some Lions players and expects to catch up with a couple of them on either Wednesday or Thursday morning.
He has watched all the Lions' games and has been excited by their 3-1 start to the season.
"I actually sit there like a supporter. I genuinely love watching them do well," he said.
Front of mind for Beams, though, has been learning the Magpies' system and developing chemistry with their talent-laden midfield group, given he had only previously played with skipper Scott Pendlebury and vice-captain Steele Sidebottom and a young Taylor Adams.
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"You can have all the (midfield) depth in the world but if you don't make it work, there's no point," he said.
After an interrupted pre-season with "little niggles here and there", Beams reported feeling better and more comfortable around his teammates each week.
He's also enjoying his second stint as a player under coach Nathan Buckley, with whom his relationship has never been stronger.
"I won a best and fairest under 'Bucks' (in 2012), so he was able to get the best out of me," he said.
"The last four years I've done a lot of maturing as a person and I've got a different outlook on life.
"The changes I've seen most in Bucks is his ability to let his assistant coaches take the reins. He's come a long way with his people skills."
Buckley said stopper Levi Greenwood, omitted last round, would be considered for a tagging role on Lions star Lachie Neale.