Brisbane Lions have fired back at Essendon great Matthew Lloyd’s scathing pre-season assessment that they will be “in a world of pain” in 2014.
For someone who was not annoyed by Essendon great Matthew Lloyd’s scathing pre-season assessment of Brisbane, the Lions’ Peter Schwab still couldn’t resist a couple of digs on Thursday.
Lions head of coaching and development Schwab tried to put on a brave face when reminded of Lloyd’s claim that Brisbane would be “in a world of pain” this year judging by their 131-point pre-season loss to Hawthorn.
“I’m not sure that everything is that happy up there in Brisbane. I think they’re in for a tough year,” Lloyd told 3AW radio on Wednesday.
Schwab claimed he was not irritated by Lloyd’s call but added: “I haven’t seen Matty in Brisbane lately so how would he know.
“Matty was a great player, he is paid for his opinions but often opinions are not based on facts.”
Schwab wondered how anyone could gauge the Lions’ season on a match that featured an inexperienced Brisbane line-up with nine players getting their first taste of senior football.
He managed another dig at Lloyd when he touched on the arrival of his former Hawthorn teammate Leigh Matthews to the Lions board as part of sweeping off-season changes.
Schwab arrived as part of the Lions restructure which also brought in Justin Leppitsch as coach and Bob Sharpless at the helm of a new-look board.
Big changes came after Michael Voss’s shock axing and the departure of five homesick players.
“It’s great to have someone of Leigh’s experience available, and he does know Brisbane,” Schwab said.
In response to Lloyd’s call that the Lions did not look happy, Schwab said they were doing what they could to ensure another off-season player exodus did not happen again.
“Eighty per cent of the players don’t come from this state so we are always going to have the issue of holding them,” he said.
“(But) I don’t think anyone outside of Brisbane can talk about our culture because they don’t know, they are not here.
“I don’t know why all the young players left.”
“All I know is that the things that we have put in place now will make sure we will make this as good a place as we possibly can.”
The Lions welcome back more than 10 senior players for Sunday’s pre-season clash with a depleted Gold Coast Suns in Townsville.