AN EMOTIONAL Dayne Beams has conceded he considered a return to Melbourne, but said he couldn't leave a Brisbane team he thought was on the verge of success.
Beams finished runner-up to Dayne Zorko by one vote for the Merrett-Murray Medal as the Lions' best and fairest, but his acceptance speech stole the show on Saturday night.
Explaining the hardship of a year that included losing his father Philip to cancer, Beams paid tribute to wife Kelly and brother Claye, but saved the highest praise for his Lions teammates.
"I've thought about going back to Melbourne and those discussions happened, and I'm not going to lie to you, I had those thoughts in my head," Beams told a packed Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.
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"The one thing I kept coming back to is this group and you blokes - I bloody love you, I really do.
"The last six months have been unbelievable. I've been able to connect with you on such a deeper level."
Despite his personal battles, Beams has had a brilliant individual season, being named in the 40-man All Australian squad and helping the Lions regain respect around the AFL.
He has two years remaining on the six-year deal that brought him to Brisbane from Collingwood following the 2014 season.
"I can't wait to see us progress as a footy team and a footy club and I know success is just around the corner," he said.
"That was a really driving factor in me wanting to stick around.
"I love where we're going and I love you boys, so thank you very much."