THE BRISBANE Lions are the hot team of the competition, but is their rise ahead of schedule?

Lions recruiting manager Stephen Conole joins the Road to the Draft podcast this week to discuss the club's brilliant season and how it has built the list now challenging for a top-four spot on the ladder. 

Conole discusses the Lions' raft of draft successes and how they found some of the key players behind their surge, plus gives an insight into how Brisbane landed Brownlow Medal fancy Lachie Neale last season.

Conole also shares what the club could have planned at this year's NAB AFL Trade Period and who the Lions might have in their sights.

Find Road to the Draft on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Spotify.

Join hosts Callum Twomey and Nat Edwards on the Road to the Draft podcast, featuring discussion on the next generation of stars plus interviews with key coaches, recruiters and prospects.    

In this week's episode ...

The guys are joined by Brisbane recruiting manager Stephen Conole, who gives his take on the 2019 draft pool and the type of players on Brisbane's radar, an update on the club's Academy and father-son prospects, the back stories to their recent draft selections and whether the 'coupling' factor is important in their recruiting.

Episode guide

1:35 –  Is the Lions' season ahead of the plan?

4:45 – Conole gives his take on this year's under-18 crop, and why the skill level of the championships was down.

10:15 – A look at Brisbane's Academy prospects for this season, plus news of an injury blow to a father-son candidate. 

14:25 – We get the inside look on why Brisbane traded up the order to select Noah Answerth last year, and how close they were to drafting him in 2017.

19:30 – Did Jarrod Berry and Charlie Cameron factor into the Lions' drafting plans last year?

21:50 – How has Conole rated No.1 pick Cam Rayner's second season at AFL level? 

24:30 – The Lions' pleasant surprise at Oscar McInerney's impact up forward.