The Lions' Lincoln McCarthy tries to shake the tackle of Collingwood skipper Scott Pendlebury at the Gabba last month. Picture: Darren England/AAP
The Lions' Lincoln McCarthy tries to shake the tackle of Collingwood skipper Scott Pendlebury at the Gabba last month. Picture: Darren England/AAP

Linc in Lions' chain finds fitness and form

THE Lions' Lincoln McCarthy achieved a small but significant milestone last week.

In his eighth season in the AFL, the 25-year-old was finally able to reach double figures for consecutive games played.

After playing 29 matches in his seven years at Geelong, he has played all 10 in his first with Brisbane.

The lively forward, originally drafted from Bordertown, South Australia has been plagued by injuries. You name it, he has had it - groin, hip, back, quad, foot.

Since becoming a Lion the only time he's spent on the sidelines is to have a breather mid-game after throwing himself into every possible contest.

"Nothing is easy, I guess, but it's been enjoyable. I've been trying to find continuity for the last seven-and-a-half years," he said.

"While the job is not done, I'm really trying to enjoy it at the moment, trying not to think about injuries and what's happened before but also respect it, knowing I've got to maintain diligence with my body in recovery, keep the (conditioning) guys updated with how I'm going.

"They have been really good ... and the warm weather has been good for the bones.

"I'm feeling pretty good but I've got to keep my mind focused on each week."

McCarthy takes a screamer. Picture: Dave Hunt/AAP
McCarthy takes a screamer. Picture: Dave Hunt/AAP

McCarthy, who booted four goals in his Lions debut in round one, has slotted seamlessly into what has become a formidable attack, alongside Eric Hipwood, Dan McStay, Charlie Cameron and Cam Rayner.

Coming from such a strong club in Geelong, and renowned for his work ethic, McCarthy has provided valuable lessons.

"I do hope that I have had a little bit of an influence on a few of the boys, particularly our young forwards," he said.

"At Geelong we played a pretty strong system and ... I guess it's probably been important to help teach the boys the importance of what you need to do when you don't have a ball in your hands.

"We're quite a diverse group. We're all a little bit different, we've all got different strengths, different weaknesses.

"All the boys are starting to add a few more strings to their bows, finding out different ways to make an impact on the game and to help your teammates."

McCarthy has in particular enjoyed playing alongside the freakishly talented Cameron, who is leading the Lions' goal-kicking this year with 18.

"He's a ripper ... we all love Charlie, especially on game day," McCarthy said.

"The excitement and energy he brings, his ability to lift the group ... we get front-row seats to the show (and) it's bloody good fun."

The Lions (6-4) host Hawthorn (5-5) tonight, following their one-point loss to Fremantle in Perth last Sunday.

"You'd much rather be getting on that five-hour flight with a win under your belt," McCarthy said.

"You have a bit of disappointment with things like that but as a group and individually you can't waste too much time dwelling on what you could've done.

"You try and move on pretty quick."