Tigers in sights as wayward Lion learns to clear mind

Murray Wenzel |

Brisbane Lions forward Charlie Cameron believes he’s turned a corner in the past fortnight.
Brisbane Lions forward Charlie Cameron believes he’s turned a corner in the past fortnight.

An injury-hit Richmond present a chance for Charlie Cameron to fill his misfiring boots now the Brisbane Lions star has identified the source of his AFL struggles.

The 29-year-old, in his seventh season at the Gabba since leaving Adelaide, has managed just 12.13 from nine games this year.

It’s easily the small forward’s least accurate offering in that time, Cameron’s 59.27 output last year more reflective of his usual efficiency and a career-high in goals kicked as the Lions reached the grand final.

His struggles have coincided with the Lions’ (3-1-5) this season, but Cameron thinks he’s turned a corner in the past fortnight.

“I was overthinking it the first couple of weeks and it was playing on my mind,” Cameron explained on Tuesday.

“Too many things on my mind … I’ve got a lot of things going on (in my head).

“(I’ve been) worrying about the outcome rather than the process, especially the goal-kicking.

“The last few weeks I’ve been going back to my focus areas, which is pressure and bringing energy.

“I’ve brought that the last two weeks. It hasn’t shown on the scoreboard … which is disappointing, but I’ll keep working on it.”

In the final moments of Sunday’s draw with the Crows, Cameron furiously chased back, well outside the Lions’ forward 50, to tackle and create a turnover. 

Debutant teammate Shadeau Brain launched the ball towards goal as the final siren sounded.

Cameron kicked 1.1 and, like his teammates, was left reflecting on what could have been after they had trailed by two goals, then led by three either side of three-quarter-time.

“It was an unreal game … mixed emotions, I didn’t know how to react, but I guess you take the two points,” said Cameron, who was on the fence about the introduction of regular-season extra time.

Richmond (1-8) face a tough decision on who to send to Cameron at the Gabba on Saturday, veteran Dylan Grimes historically a proven direct opponent but now in his 15th AFL season.

Committing star defender Nick Vlastuin to Cameron could have undesirable side-effects, while fit-again Jayden Short is another option for a side that copped a 91-point belting from the Western Bulldogs on Saturday.

Brisbane sit two wins outside the top eight and have five players recovering from anterior cruciate ligament injuries on the sidelines.

“I guess it’s a must-win,” Cameron said.

“It’ll be a tight game. I’m looking forward to it. I guess they’ve had a lot of injuries, but so have we. We’re expecting their best.”

AAP