Keeping it “simple” has helped Brisbane Lions star Charlie Cameron regain his best form after a drop in confidence following a head clash that resulted in a facial fracture and the loss of two teeth.
Cameron and Richmond stalwart Trent Cotchin were involved in a heavy collision in the first minute of the Lions’ 81-point thrashing of the Tigers at the Gabba on June 29.
The livewire Brisbane forward suffered the brunt of the punishment and was temporarily forced off the field.
And while he returned to action and hasn’t missed a subsequent match, Cameron suffered a small fracture above his lip and lost his two front teeth.
He also lost some confidence, admitting he wasn’t the same player for the following six weeks.
However, Cameron, the only Brisbane player selected in this season’s All-Australian team, has rediscovered his form in the past month, much to the relief of the Lions ahead of Saturday night’s qualifying final against Port Adelaide at the Gabba.
“It sort of did (affect my confidence),” Cameron said on Thursday when asked about his clash of heads with Cotchin.
“You try to block it out but I was a bit worried with the teeth missing and … your reaction to having another contest like that.
“I had a patch of six weeks where I was wasn’t playing up to standard – I was just worrying about too much.
“I had to try to set myself for the last four weeks to have a good block and set myself for the finals.
“I thought I did that. (It was) just trying to keep it simple, play my role and just make the most of my opportunities.”
A win over Port would be the perfect way for Cameron to celebrate his 200th AFL appearance.
The 199 matches he has played for the Lions and his previous club Adelaide include the remarkable effort of being involved in every one of Brisbane’s 115 games since the start of the 2019 season.
“I avoid every contest. I’m not a contested player besides tackling,” Cameron said when asked what was the secret to his run of games.
“I just try to have a routine every week, and … just having that consistency.
“I’m pretty grateful to play 200 games. I’m just looking forward to going out there on Saturday night.
“There’s more expectation, I’m always looking forward to finals. You want to play good in big games, especially in finals.
“Something I look to do in finals is trying to get yourself involved early and trying to get some confidence.”
Originally published as Brisbane star Charlie Cameron to make his 200th AFL appearance in the Lions’ Gabba battle with Port Adelaide