AFL: Brisbane Lions deny poor form is due to Vegas trip

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Lions football manager Danny Daly has declared Brisbane players are “fully united”, rejecting claims there is a split in the camp following last year’s end-of-season trip Las Vegas.

The Lions are in damage control following reports of a rift between players after messages and photos from the trip that were on a WhatsApp group chat were accidentally uploaded by a player to iCloud on his Apple phone.

The partner of the player accessed the group chat, and shared it with the partners of other players who were on trip, which led to some relationships ending.

The incident and alleged rift have been seen as reasons for the Lions starting the AFL season with three successive losses ahead of Friday’s clash againt North Melbourne.

However, Daly on Monday said the trip “was not the reason why we are zero and three at the minute” and that there wasn’t a “divide among our playing group”.

“This group is fully united as a playing group, and fully focused on turning our season around,” Daly said.

“The trip has nothing to do with our on-field performance, and we will not be using it as any type of excuse as such.

“We produced an impressive pre-season campaign that ended with two pre-season game wins.

“We’ve had some strong performances in those games, we’ve had some good patches throughout the first three games of this year, and we’ve had some not so good performances in quarters throughout this year. and as a playing group, we just need to get our consistency up over a four-quarter period.

“We still have 20 games to go, and we are confident our playing group will find their best form.

“This group has been through a lot of highs together and a lot of adversities together, and we have full confidence that they will continue to stick together.”

Daly also rejected claims of crisis meetings over the Easter weekend, but said he had spoken on the phone to Brisbane co-captains Harris Andrews and Lachie Neale.

“I quickly spoke to our leaders over the phone. There was no meeting,” he said.

“I spoke to both leaders for about one minute, just asking if there was any truth in it. They categorically told me there wasn’t.

“I always trust our playing group, so that’s where it basically finished.”

Andrews was adamant the Lions would “stay bonded internally”.

“We’re such a tight group up here.,” the star defender said.

We spend a lot of time with each, so as a group, there’s certainly no fracture or anything at all. There was never any tension at all.

“As a group we’re certainly united and we’re all in this together. We can’t really control what other people say.

“I feel like I’m really in touch with the group and really confident that everyone’s on the same page.”

Daly also denied that players’ relationships had ended with their partners because of incidents from the Vegas trip.

He also said there were “some issues” the club did not need to be “aware of”.

“It’s the end-of-season trip of our players. They’re on leave, and whatever happened on that trip, wasn’t to the extent that the football club needed to know about it,” Daly said.

“There are no policies that they went outside of that we needed to address, and … the issues are of a personal nature, and that’s where it’ll be left.”

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