Beams opens up on toughest time of his life
DAYNE Beams stood in front of his Lions teammates this week and bared his soul in the hope one day it may help one of them who was experiencing tough times.
Beams has grown incredibly in his time at the Lions from what he happily concedes was "a ratbag" in his early days at Collingwood to a captain who cares deeply about his club and teammates.
He said he hoped that showing the grief he was feeling over the passing of his father Philip earlier this month and his willingness to speak openly may have a positive effect on the younger Lions.
"I really feel that it is really good for younger players to see that someone senior, like the leader of their group, is vulnerable,'' he said.
"I think it is a really powerful thing for them to feel safe and express their feelings and maybe how they are feeling.
"Because as males sometimes it is hard for us to express ourselves and I feel that me being me, and expressing those emotions that I have has really, I won't say helped the group, but allowed them to step back and think more about life.
"And I've had a few of the blokes say that to me.''
There's an old saying among footballers that in tough times, there is no better place to be than at a footy club and Beams said that fact was hammered home to him when he arrived back at work this week.
"It felt right being at the footy club, I reckon I could have walked in and I would have known straight away whether it was too soon or the time was right and I felt immediately comfortable,'' he said.
"I think that is a reflection of the environment we have created here, it is a safe environment where people know they can be themselves.
"Obviously for someone, like myself and Claye, who are going through probably the toughest thing anyone can go through in their lives, it has been really comforting knowing you can come to work and everyone will treat you normally, because really that's what we are after.''
The 28-year-old said the last three years were the happiest of his life and justified his decision to leave Collingwood, were he was a premiership player and club champion, to return to Brisbane.
"I copped some flack over my reasons for coming home, and at the end of the day I don't care, but I think it is pretty evident as to why,'' he said.
"I said it to my family that the last three years have been the best of my life, not only because I got to spend them with my dad.
"But I have really enjoyed footy again, the last years at Collingwood I was getting to the point where I wasn't enjoying it.
"I feel like the last three years have really fast tracked my growth.
"There has been a lot happening, I've got married had my first child and about to have my second one.''