THERE'S a fire inside Charlie Cameron on the eve of Brisbane's opening game against Sydney on Saturday night.

Cameron was a crucial contributor for the Lions as they surged to the preliminary final last season, but the electric small forward conceded overall his form was down in 2020.

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He was still the club's leading goalkicker, with 31, and a dangerous presence inside the forward 50.

His form was inconsistent though, and it's something the 26-year-old wants to rectify.

He not only wants to help Brisbane to a first premiership in 18 years, but also to reclaim his mantle as the best small forward in the AFL.

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"I want to get back to that," Cameron told AFL.com.au.

"There were some good players last year with (Dan) Butler, (Tom) Papley and Liam Ryan, those three are pretty good players, all different, but we all want to influence on the ground and in the air.

"It's going to be hard to get to No.1 but we'll see how we go."

West Coast's 'Flyin' Ryan claimed that crown last year, earning his first All-Australian selection, while Butler and Papley both had claims to join him in the final 22.

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On pure numbers alone, the four were extremely close.

Cameron kicked the most goals, Butler laid the most tackles and applied the most pressure acts, Papley had the most disposals, and Ryan had the most score involvements.

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On the 'eye test', Cameron had slipped a fraction from his fantastic 2019.

"The back half of the year I dropped off a bit," he said.

"I had that hyperextension to the knee and had a few niggles that probably hampered me.

"I just tried to be influential and have my moments to impact and influence others.

"For me this year is the same thing, more impact up the ground … try and kick a few goals."

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His first test comes against Papley and the Swans.

Although they'll be stationed at opposite ends of the ground, Cameron has the utmost respect for the hyper-energetic Swan.

"I love him," Cameron said.

"He's basically like me, loves the crowd, loves a celebration.

"He's an electric player. He's tough as well.

"Our defenders have to play him as they play me, I guess. I love the way he goes about it."

The Lions undoubtedly became a little less Cameron-centric last year, bringing their other forwards into focus more often, but the goalsneak was still a barometer for their success.

His three-goal qualifying final performance against Richmond helped lift Brisbane to a drought-breaking win.

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Now, with Joe Daniher on board, Brisbane's forward line threatens to be even more diverse.

"For me, I try to play up the ground more and get busy," Cameron said.

"I don't have to play deep all the time, but sometimes I can to change it up.

"It's finding the right balance of playing up the ground and playing deep.

"I can't wait."