Emily Bates, Kaitlyn Ashmore, and Leah Kaslar, Brisbane Lions AFLW launch, Coorparoo. Photographer: Liam Kidston.
Emily Bates, Kaitlyn Ashmore, and Leah Kaslar, Brisbane Lions AFLW launch, Coorparoo. Photographer: Liam Kidston.

Lions lash former teammate’s ‘rubbish’

BRISBANE'S AFLW stars have hit back at ex-teammate Tayla Harris' suggestion the Lions have a "chilled" demeanour, saying no one should question their professionalism ahead of the new season.

Last year's beaten grand finalists defied a lot of expectations in the competition's inaugural year, after they finished on top of the ladder in 2017.

But that success continues to be overlooked heading into the new season, with UBET putting the Lions at second-last in the betting for the premiership at $9.

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The doubts over whether they can maintain their 2017 momentum has also been made worse by comments like Harris', who said she is enjoying a more "professional" environment at her new club Carlton.

Emily Bates, Kaitlyn Ashmore, and Leah Kaslar at the Brisbane Lions AFLW launch. Pic: Liam Kidston
Emily Bates, Kaitlyn Ashmore, and Leah Kaslar at the Brisbane Lions AFLW launch. Pic: Liam Kidston

"Brisbane, the way it is, and everyone knows, it's a bit chilled,'' Harris told website 20FOUR last week.

"I liked that at the time. Now I'm here, I 100 per cent understand that it's professional all the time."

But as the Lions launched their 2018 season at Coorparoo, her ex-teammates slammed the suggestion that Brisbane are below the same standards as other clubs, with vice-captain Leah Kaslar saying the comments contribute to the doubt surrounding the Lions.

"What she said echoes what a lot of Victoria thinks," Kaslar said.

"It will let us be the unknown and will let us have the chance to shock and surprise them again this year. But we definitely have a very professional team.

"It's up to a player what level of professionalism they bring to a team as well."

Star duo Kaitlyn Ashmore and Emily Bates backed Kaslar's stance yesterday.

As the Lions prepare for Saturday's season-opening grand final rematch against premiers Adelaide, Ashmore admitted they also had one eye on their Round 3 showdown with Carlton.

"She can have her own opinion on everything," Ashmore said of Harris.

Tayla Harris has found a new home at the Blues. Pic: Getty Images)
Tayla Harris has found a new home at the Blues. Pic: Getty Images)

"She can say what she wants … but we like to keep that rubbish outside of our four walls. She's found a new home and she will say things that relate to her new home.

"Good luck to her and we'll see her obviously in Round 3.

"I love the professionalism that we have at this club. I like to call us one of the most professional clubs in Australia."

Bates, meanwhile, was adamant Harris was alone in her feelings, claiming she was not aware of anyone else who thought they were "chilled".

The club's inaugural best and fairest, Bates said that kind of reputation will only give the Lions an advantage once again.

"Being from Queensland, we're out of that Melbourne hype and people never know what we're doing up here," she said.

"We know there is a reason for our success last year and there's a reason why we will hopefully do the same this year."

Harris in action for the Lions. Pic: Getty Images
Harris in action for the Lions. Pic: Getty Images


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