AFTER seven years playing alongside one another, this is the first pre-season Tom Rockliff has undergone without his great mate, Jack Redden. 

It's a bit different for the Brisbane Lions' skipper, but he's not the only one adjusting to the change.

Redden and Rockliff were both drafted by the Lions in the lead-up to the 2009 season and quickly became inseparable friends.

Their 'bromance' was legendary around the club.

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They lived together, then bought houses around the corner from each other.

Rockliff got a dog, 'Killa'. Redden followed suit with his own dog, 'Archie'.

But after 129 games in the Lions' midfield, Redden asked to be traded and has packed his bags for last season's runner up, West Coast.

"It's a bit funny," Rockliff told following a Lions' training session.

"He's been here the whole time and we've come through together, so it has been a little bit different.

"He lived around the corner and our dogs were best mates, so they're struggling,

"It'd be interesting to get inside their heads and see how they're going."

Boys pretty chilled out on the couch waiting for the footy to start @squints_rofl @killa_sausage @archieredden30

A photo posted by Thomas Rockliff (@tomrockliff38) on Apr 17, 2015 at 1:03am PDT

The two still keep in regular contact and won't have to wait long to renew acquaintances on the field – the Lions are drawn to play the Eagles at Domain Stadium in round one.

Rockliff loves to niggle his opponents on game day and said not even Redden would be spared.

"I'm sure there'll be a bit of banter out there," he said. 

"Reddo's not massive on the chat, but as everyone knows, I don't mind it, so there'll be a little bit come his way. "

Rockliff says the biggest difference for this Lions pre-season to date is the amount of on-field talk.

In Ryan Bastinac, Tom Bell and Josh Walker, they recruited players with AFL experience and the extra voices at most sessions are apparent.

Rockliff said the addition of fitness boss Damien Austin from the Sydney Swans was also being felt.

"The training standards, with boys pulling each other up, is the big change," he said.

"Just making sure we're getting quality sessions … I think that's something Damien has started to instil in this group.

"I think it's important we have that focus and the leaders have followed up.

"You want to set that standard of getting the most out of each session. I think the training standards and communication have gone to another level."