Brisbane Lions veteran Mitch Robinson was left “devastated” after not being permitted to personally announce that the 2022 season would be his last at the club in front of home fans at the Gabba.
The 33-year-old featured in Brisbane’s thrilling two-point victory over the Richmond Tigers in week one of the AFL finals, but did not suit up in the semi-final against Melbourne and Friday evening’s preliminary final against Geelong.
On Saturday evening, Robinson revealed to his 85,000 Instagram followers that he had played his final match for the Lions after not having his renewed contract for 2023, delivering a parting shot at Brisbane coach Chris Fagan.
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“This was my last photo as a Lion,” he wrote on the social media platform.
“Happy beating the Tigers but sad knowing it’d be my last at the Gabba.
“Devastated Fages wouldn’t allow me to announce this in person to the supporters and my teammates, but I guess that’s footy …
“It’s been an absolute privilege pulling on the Fitzroy and Lions jumper!
“Thank you all for the last 8 years, I’ll never forget the love you all showed me, Emma and my kids.
“I left it all out there every single game, I love you all.”
Former Carlton teammate Brendan Fevola commented: “Congratulations champion️. You left nothing out there mate. Most courageous player I played with.”
Robinson represented the Lions 147 teams after joining the club in 2015, with the midfielder
earning the club’s joint best and fairest winner in its first season.
He previously played 100 games for the Blues after making his AFL debut in 2009, kicking 139 goals over 14 seasons for both clubs.
The Cats booked their spot in next weekend’s AFL grand final after comprehensively beating the Lions by 71 points at the MCG on Friday evening.
After a tight first quarter tussle, the Cats began to flex their muscles as they ran away to claim the decisive 18.12 (120) to 7.7 (49) victory.
“They outplayed us in every facet of the game, really,” Fagan told reporters in the post-match press conference.
“The contest, their team defense tonight was excellent, the way they moved the ball was outstanding.
“It’s hard to know whether the two finals that we played in where we had to go to the wire every week, what sort of toll that takes on the group mentally and physically – I don’t know, there perhaps is … Maybe we were pretty ripe for the picking, but they’ve certainly managed their training and preparation exceptionally well over the last couple of weeks and they looked really sharp tonight, so congratulations to them.
“You look at Geelong and I admire them as a footy club enormously. We’ve played in the last four final series and we’ll learn from that, (but) they’ve played in a lot of finals series and haven’t got to the big dance all that often. Tonight, I felt like the performance they put in was a reflection of the frustration that they probably feel about that. They’ve given themselves the chance.
“So we just have to look at what they’ve done and go back and learn the lessons from tonight and come out a better team next year, which is what we’ve been trying to do for the last six years since I’ve been coach.
“Whoever plays them in the grand final next week, they’re going to be pretty hard to beat, I would’ve thought. That was a complete performance tonight.”
The win puts them into the season decider for the 19th time next weekend where they’ll take on the winner of tomorrow’s preliminary final between Sydney and Collingwood.
Originally published as ‘Devastated’: Lions veteran Mitch Robinson fumes at coach’s call