Charlie Cameron celebrates one of his three goals. Picture: AFL Photos

CHARLIE Cameron has fond memories of his most recent preliminary final.

September 22, 2017 - the night he announced himself as a star of the AFL, kicking five goals in Adelaide's crushing win over Geelong at the Adelaide Oval.

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In just his fourth season at the Crows, Cameron hurt the Cats in every way conceivable; at ground level, with his run and in the air.

Charlie Cameron celebrates a goal in the 2017 preliminary final. Picture: AFL Photos

It was a clinic, and one the star small forward says gave him the confidence he could perform on "the big stage".

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Coincidentally it will be the Cats that Cameron faces again on Saturday night as he tries to help his second club, Brisbane, into its first Grand Final in 16 years.


When speaking to this week, it was no surprise a smile came across his face when asked about that night three years ago.

"It was an exciting night," Cameron said


"It's a lot different now, I'm more mature, but it was exciting to play a quality side and beat them … and then to play in the Grand Final was pretty special. 

"That's something I can take away, it was exciting times."

Charlie Cameron enjoys some Eddie Betts love in the 2017 preliminary final against Geelong. Picture: AFL Photos

Cameron has a thirst for the most important games. In 10 finals he's kicked 17 goals, including three in Brisbane's qualifying final win over Richmond less than a fortnight ago.

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A huge fan of American sports, the 26-year-old said his breakout performance against the Cats made him believe he could perform when the stakes were at their highest.

"Big-time players stand up in big-time games and for me to have that type of game was special," Cameron said.


"To know I belong on this stage and perform like that was pretty special.

"I go back and look at those games against Geelong and see what I can do. If you're having a down game, you look at your best to see what you can do."

Cameron has further evidence against Geelong he can succeed, kicking five goals in the 'Linc McCarthy' game in round 22 at the Gabba last season, won in thrilling fashion by the home team.

On that hot Brisbane afternoon, Jed Bews manned the lightning quick Lion, who kicked half of his team's goals in the win.

Cameron said there was one major change entering this game.

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"There's four or five blokes in the forward line to help, it's not just me kicking goals," he said.

"There's no heavy reliance on me like last year.

"I felt pressure last year going into finals and this year I'm just playing footy knowing we've got a lot of dangerous forwards up there. We've got Cam (Rayner) and ‘Macca’ (Dan McStay) and Linc and Eric (Hipwood), even ‘Kiddy’ (Keidean) Coleman.

"And a lot of mids that are dangerous too."

But if any Lion knows how to take control on the big stage, it's Cameron.