Jed Adcock came to the Brisbane Lions just as their period of AFL supremacy last decade was coming to a close.
As he prepares to celebrate his 200th AFL game on Saturday night against North Melbourne, he is clinging to hope that the next Lions dynasty is just around the corner.
“It’s eluded me now (a premiership) but I’m confident and hopeful this club in the near future, in the next few years, I think we’re pushing in the right direction,” Adcock said.
Adcock, who was replaced as captain this year by Tom Rockliff, was a second-round selection in the 2003 AFL draft – arriving at the Lions just after their third premiership in a row.
Eight years on and Brisbane appear bound for the wooden spoon, currently sitting dead last on the AFL ladder on the back of an ugly eight-match losing streak.
Adcock, 29, insists there are plenty of positives that can be taken out of their dreadful season, in particular the blooding of a group of youngsters described by coach Justin Leppitsch as the best Brisbane has seen in 10 years.
But there has been one key ingredient missing from their football education – wins.
“We need to get a winning culture back into this footy club. It’s been missing for quite a few years now,” Adcock said.
“We need to teach the young kids what it’s like and how to win.
“Even though it’s pretty obvious we’re not playing finals, we can still shape them and have some sort of decision on who makes it.”
Adcock will enter illustrious company when he becomes the 11th Lions player to reach the 200-game milestone, joining the likes of club greats Michael Voss, Simon Black, Jason Akermanis, Jonathan Brown and Luke Power.
Not bad for a bloke who didn’t think he’d last long in the AFL system.
“I thought if I spent two years and get a couple of games it’s turned out alright, (then) go home and do whatever I would have been doing,” Adcock said.
“I don’t think I’ll be thought of along the same lines as those kind of players but it’s nice to be able to play 200 games for the Lions… and to do it with one club, and a club I’ve loved for a long time.”