THERE'S no shortage of belief coursing through Hugh McCluggage or his Brisbane teammates.
The 22-year-old, who booted the winning goal in Friday's qualifying final triumph over Richmond, is preparing for a weekend off with a preliminary final bout in mind.
McCluggage, drafted to Brisbane after rising through ranks at Allansford and South Warrnambool, said any doubts surrounding Lions' straight sets finals exit in 2019 had been banished.
"When you haven't won a final, it can start getting in your head," he said.
When you haven't won a final, it can start getting in your head.Hugh McCluggage
"It was only the two finals that we had last year but it gives us massive confidence going ahead that we can match it with anyone."
He said euphoria of slotting a goal in the dying stages of the Richmond clash had only just worn off.
"It was exciting. I think a fair bit of relief swept over me when I kicked that one," McCluggage said.
"I obviously missed one I would've liked to have kicked earlier in that game but it was nice to kick the sealer and move on to another week of finals. It was tough sleeping on Friday night but pretty exciting with the crowd there. It was unbelievable how loud they were considering it wasn't even anything like a full house."
McCluggage, who has booted eight goals and 21 behinds in 2020, said he had no qualms about rising to the moment.
"Fages (coach Chris Fagan) is always big on everyone playing with flair, and their natural instinct," he said.
"I've always been someone who likes to get forward and have shots at goal. I'd still like to think I'd give it off if I'm not in as good a sport as my teammate but you can't shy away from it even if you're not kicking goals.
"I know it'll turn eventually and I'll keep practising out here. That gives me good confidence in a game that I'll eventually be able to kick them."
He said an earlier miss - which was followed immediately with a Richmond goal - was tough to digest but the club's focus on "mindset" off-field helped him move on.
Brisbane will play either Geelong or Collingwood in its preliminary final on October 17.
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