Brownlow star helping Bates take game to new level

WITH the help of a Brownlow medallist during pre-season, prolific Brisbane midfielder Emily Bates is hoping to take her game to a higher level.

Ten new faces joined the Lions in the off-season. One of the biggest off-field additions was Simon Black, who joined Craig Starcevich's coaching unit.

Bates said the three-time premiership player, 2002 Brownlow winner and 2003 Norm Smith medallist had made a huge impact in a short period of time.

"Once you've been around a few seasons you're trying to learn new things," the 23-year-old said.

"He's opened our eyes to little things you may not have thought of, the tiniest movement or body positioning.

"When to push forward and when not to push and when to watch the ball out of the ruck's hand goes a huge way towards winning clearances.

"He's already been massive for us and I can't wait to see how we go."

Black has worked with the midfield while his premiership teammate Clark Keating is mentoring Brisbane's ruck division.

"We're doing drills we haven't thought about and they're reinforcing those good habits," Bates said.

"With Black, it's all about teaching us the right timing, because timing is everything."

After successive Grand Final losses, the Lions begin their quest to go one step further on Sunday when they host season two's big improvers, Greater Western Sydney, at Moreton Bay Central Sports Complex.

The Giants gave Brisbane a hiding in a practice match less than two weeks ago, but Bates said they weren’t reading too much into it.

"We were rotating girls through different positions and trialing the newer girls in roles where experienced players would typically play," she said.

"It was a chance for those girls to experience playing at that level against bigger bodies.

"We know our best 21 will match it with anyone. We trust our preparation and we've done everything we can.

"This year, because we have 10 new girls on the list and two new teams in the competition, there really can be no complacency.

"Every round we have to reset and (focus on one) game at a time, as clichéd as it is,” Bates said.

"It's not easy to get there (the Grand Final). The minute you get complacent and think about the future is when it bites you."

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