Brisbane Lions veteran Mitch Robinson was left “devastated” after not being allowed to personally announce that the 2022 season would be his last at the club for home fans in the Gabba.
The 33-year-old featured in Brisbane’s thrilling two-point win over the Richmond Tigers in week one of the AFL final, but failed to make it in the semi-final against Melbourne and Friday night’s preliminary final against Geelong.
On Saturday night, Robinson revealed to his 85,000 Instagram followers that he had played his last game for the Lions after his 2023 contract was not renewed, parting ways with Brisbane coach Chris Fagan.
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“This was my last picture as a lion,” he wrote on the social media platform.
“I’m happy to beat the Tiges, but I’m sad because I know it will be my last in the Gabba.
“Devastated Fages didn’t allow me to announce this in person to the supporters and my teammates, but I think that’s footy…
“It was an absolute privilege to pull on the Fitzroy and Lions jersey!
“Thank you all for the past 8 years, I will never forget the love you all showed to me, Emma and my children.
“I left it all there, every game, I love you all.”
Former Carlton team-mate Brendan Fevola commented: “Congratulations champion️. You left nothing behind mate. The most courageous player I’ve played with.”
Robinson represented the Lions 147 times after joining the club in 2015, with the midfielder
earning the club’s joint best and fairest winner in his first season.
He previously played 100 games for the Blues after making his AFL debut in 2009 and scoring 139 goals in 14 seasons for both clubs.
The Cats secured their spot in next weekend’s AFL final after beating the Lions by 71 points in the MCG on Friday night.
After a solid battle in the first quarter, the Cats began to flex their muscles as they raced away to take the decisive 18.12 (120) to 7.7 (49) win.
“They really outplayed us in every facet of the game,” Fagan told reporters at the post-game press conference.
“The game, their team defense tonight was excellent, the way they moved the ball was excellent.
“It’s hard to know if the two finals we played in where we had to go to the wire every week, what kind of toll the group takes mentally and physically – I don’t know, there might be… Maybe we were quite ripe to to be picked but they have managed their training and preparation exceptionally well over the past few weeks and they looked very sharp tonight so congratulations.
“You look at Geelong and I really admire them as a football club. We have played in the last four final series and we will learn from that, (but) they have played in many final series and have not gone to the big dance that often. Tonight had I feel like the performance they gave was a reflection of the frustration they probably feel about that, they gave themselves a chance.
“So we just have to look at what they’ve done and go back and learn tonight’s lessons and come out with a better team next year, which is what we’ve been trying to do for the last six years since I was a coach.
“Whoever plays them in the grand final next week, they will be hard to beat, I thought. That was a complete performance tonight.”
The win puts them in the season decider for the 19th time this weekend, where they will face the winner of the Preliminary Final between Sydney and Collingwood tomorrow.