Rest is best for first-time dad and Lions star
FOR all the preparation leading up to next Saturday's qualifying final at the Gabba, sleep will be vital to Brisbane midfielder Jarryd Lyons.
Ahead of his first final with the Lions, the 27-year-old has been juggling commitments as a first-time dad.
Wife Savahna gave birth to baby boy Sebastian a fortnight ago.
"He's been pretty good. He's sleeping well, eating well. No issues at the moment," Lyons said from the Gabba.
"The club has been pretty good in terms of letting me go home early to help out.
"So far, it's been pretty smooth."
The young family are enjoying their first full weekend together due to the AFL's pre-finals bye. A weekend that includes Lyons' first Father's Day tomorrow.
It will then be down to business as the Lions gear up for their blockbuster clash against Richmond - looking to turn the tables after their final round-loss to the Tigers.
Lyons said the parental advice has been coming thick and fast from teammates.
"There's plenty of blokes who have done it. They say be there when you can," Lyons said. "But a couple of days before the game get two full nights sleep in so you're right."
While hoping to prolong the Lions' season - right up until the last Saturday in September - Lyons looks forward to switching into full-time dad mode for a couple of months during the off-season.
"It's good that I can focus on four weeks here. I know then I've got eight weeks at home for the whole time," he said.
"We'll probably drive to Noosa or the Gold Coast, .. a couple of nice spots."
Life's good for Lyons, who this time last year was a shock departure after just two seasons with the embattled Suns after previously parting ways with Adelaide.
Lyons had averaged a healthy 24 disposals with the Suns but coach Stuart Dew couldn't guarantee him a regular game, looking to youth.
"I'm still friends with a few of the guys there, they actually came up during the week and saw the baby," Lyons said.
"There's certainly no hard feelings with any of the players there ... or the coaches. Anyone really. It was a mutual decision in the end.
"They will reap the rewards in the years to come. For me the rewards have come a bit sooner rather than later."
The Lions welcomed the seasoned onballer with open arms with Lyons a huge part of Brisbane's rise to premiership contender.
"I certainly didn't expect to be sitting second on the ladder and have a home (qualifying) final," he said. "I knew we were going to be pretty good from when I walked in the door.
"The club was pretty professional, and the players they brought in this year were always going to help the team improve.
"But to improve 14 spots on the ladder is pretty phenomenal."
Another of those players "brought in" was Lachie Neale, who Lyons had played alongside in the SANFL before they were drafted, Lyons to the Crows, Neale to Fremantle.
"We played about five or 10 games together in the Glenelg seniors," Lyons said. "We got along really well, kept in contact. Last year when Gold Coast played over there (in Perth) I caught up with him for dinner.
"Little did we know we'd end up together in Brisbane.
I don't think Lachie even knew what he'd be doing."
As well as allowing him the chance to spend more time with his wife and son, Lyons - who played three finals with the Crows (in 2015 and 2016) - said the pre-finals bye would benefit he and his teammates.
"It's actually not a bad thing. It would be hard to back up again this week after the two games we've had against Geelong and Richmond," he said.
After edging out minor premiers the Cats the week prior, the Lions were jumped by the Tigers last weekend at the MCG and Lyons said the rest would give them a chance to refocus.
"We've got two weeks to study that tape and see where we can pick them apart a bit more and where we can improve," he said. "A lot of it was our mistakes - dropped marks, simple things that cost us goals early.
"We'll make sure we come switched on and ready to go."