EACH team usually has at least one every pre-season.

The eye-catching player that is running better, lifting heavier or looking more polished in team drills.

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The player that looks different to when you last saw him the previous season.

For Brisbane, that player is Brandon Starcevich.

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About to enter his third season, Starcevich has been dogged by injury after being taken with the 18th overall pick in the 2017 NAB AFL Draft.

The young West Australian played four games in his first senior year and added just one in 2019 after a badly torn hamstring and Achilles and quad problems hampered his progress.

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But now with four months of continuity since his most recent setback he is ready to challenge for a spot in the Lions' congested half-back line or perhaps even push into the midfield.

"Hopefully I'll play a lot of seniors," Starcevich told AFL.com.au.

"The body is feeling good, my skills have been not-too-bad, so hopefully I'll put my hand up for round one."

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It's no accident the 20-year-old is having a strong pre-season.

Rather than travelling overseas to party for a week or three in his off-season - "that isn't really my thing anyway" - the quietly spoken Starcevich headed back to his home state and got a head-start on his training.

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He's lifting well, took 20 seconds off his 3km time trial best to now be within range of Brisbane's best running midfielders, and has looked sharp with ball in hand.

"Coming off last year the body was letting me down a bit," he said.

"It was important this off-season to get as fit and strong as I could so the body could hold up.

"I didn't really feel like going away to be honest, going home was good enough.

"I've been doing Pilates as well, which has helped a fair bit. It's been very beneficial."

Starcevich knows being fit and strong is just half the battle. Brisbane had a very settled team in 2019, with 10 players lining up in all 24 games and 19 playing 19 games or more.

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Although Luke Hodge has retired, the rest of those players are back again, along with off-season acquisitions Callum Ah Chee, Grant Birchall and Cam Ellis-Yolmen.

Starcevich is training with the defenders, but is trying to leave his options open to force the hand of coach Chris Fagan and the rest of the match committee.

"Hopefully I'll play some wing as well," he said.

"I did that at the end of my first year and some in my second year as well, so it's not a role that's unfamiliar."

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