CHRIS Fagan says a "grown up" Brisbane has talked about Cathy Freeman's Olympic heroics ahead of the pressure that awaits it in this year's finals series.
The Lions bowed out last September with two straight losses and confront Richmond on Friday night to start this year's campaign - an outfit they have lost to 15 straight times.
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The pressure facing Brisbane is multi-layered; breaking the Tigers hoodoo, winning a final, overcoming its goalkicking demons, and knowing the chance is there to play a once-in-a-lifetime Grand Final at the Gabba.
But the coach says his team has learned from last year's heartbreak, saying those defeats have made the Lions even keener to succeed.
"Part of being mentally strong is not letting what happens in the game affect you too much," Fagan said.
"That's one of our learnings from last year's finals and again from our Geelong game earlier in the season (where they lost by 27 points)."
Fagan said he had spoken to the players about Freeman's 400m victory at the 2000 Olympics, following the recent documentary on ABC, and how she coped with the expectation of an entire country.
He said what Brisbane faced in comparison was nothing special, akin to what Melbourne teams face playing at home every year.
"It's all part of it, living with expectation and being able to cope with it," he said. "I think we're better placed this year to do that."
The Lions will regain the services of Harris Andrews (hamstring) and Jarrod Berry (shoulder) barring any mishaps in the lead-up to the game.
Fagan said Brisbane has proven to itself it does not need to rely on Andrews, Lachie Neale or Charlie Cameron to have great games to succeed.
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"I think our guys have grown up as a team and our guys understand if you want to beat the best you've got to be very even across the board.
"Across the course of the last couple of years we've played many teams that have had long winning runs against us and we've been able to change that.
"There's one left and we just want to embrace that challenge.
"At some point in time we're going to change it.
"It'd be great if it was on Friday night, but Richmond are a very old, experienced finals team."