Lions' Robinson never left AFL game mode

Mitch Robinson has proven an AFL Esports star but he can't wait to get back to the real thing.
Mitch Robinson has proven an AFL Esports star but he can't wait to get back to the real thing.

Mitch Robinson has switched from podcasts to AFL training pods but the competitive juices have never stopped flowing for the Brisbane spark plug.

The Lions are back at the Gabba training in groups of eight as part of the AFL's coronavirus safety measures as the competition targets a June 11 competition return.

Robinson is the vocal leader of his pod, tasked with taking down an opposing eight-man squad led by Daniel Rich and Dayne Zorko when they share the same field for drills.

He said that battle had ensured the intensity was there after a near two-month AFL shutdown that saw Robinson focus on his podcast, online gaming and home schooling of his two children.

The highlight came when Robinson won the flag playing as the Lions in the AFL Evolution 2 video game and called coach Chris Fagan while streaming live, who played along by giving a rousing victory speech.

"I just love doing it," Robinson said of his multimedia exploits.

"When I first came up here (to Brisbane from Carlton) I had no hobbies and my psych said you've got to start finding something, because going to the movies by yourself isn't something to be bragging about.

"My time in footy isn't forever; I can see the end date after a few more years, so it was a good chance to see what life would be like post-footy."

He said his gaming experiences had him leaning against the prospect of fake crowd noise being pumped into the stadiums and into fans' television speakers.

"AFL Evo 2 has a bit of crowd noise but doesn't really sound that great," he said.

"Probably for the viewers it'll keep them more interested but when you're out there, you can hear everything (and it would seem odd).

"I'd just leave it how it is to be honest, like an under-18s championship, or maybe play a song like in the NBA during defence time for a set shot at goal."

Robinson isn't letting the finer points distract him though as last year's big improvers set about a repeat performance in the stunted season.

"By this time next week everyone could be playing with crowds, we just don't know," he said.

"Things will happen every day and we've just got to adapt the best.

"We're going to rock up to every game and try and win, no excuses.

"The boys are in ripping nick and we're ready to go."

Australian Associated Press