Brisbane coach Justin Leppitsch is looking on the bright side of life depsite a 1-7 start to the season and board-room brawling at the club.
With a one from eight start to the AFL season new Brisbane Lions coach Justin Leppitsch is starting to feel like Forrest Gump.
“You never know what you’re going to get,” Leppitsch said of what happens when you take over an AFL team, following his side’s close run loss to Essendon.
“Chris Scott was able to walk into a mature team at Geelong and has done a terrific job to keep the momentum going there.”
“Ken (Hinkley) was able to do a terrific job at Port turning that around, Alan Richardson is probably where we are a little bit at St Kilda.”
“When you get the opportunity to be a senior coach, you just take it.”
Leppitsch inherited a Lions side stripped of young talent that now sit at the bottom of the AFL ladder.
A board-room stoush upstairs at the indebted club cannot have helped.
But Leppitsch said the departure of the club’s chief executive and ongoing board tensions were not impacting his team.
“The outside world puts the whole lot together but the corporate side and the football side are two separate areas,” he told the Sunday Footy Show.
“I was hired when the board wasn’t really settled … but that’s all cleared now and it’s all behind us.”
“We’ve got our young players in, we’ve got our group, our direction and we know where we’re going.”
Pointing to more development coaches and a planned expansion of the football department’s budget, Leppitsch’s attitude belied gloomy predictions for the Queensland club.
His direction will include an off-season play for big talent to replace departing juniors Jared Polec, Sam Docherty, Patrick Karnezis, Billy Longer and Elliot Yeo.
The Lions cannot call upon the riches of the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company to fill their coffers but Leppitsch all the same hopes to boost his playing list.
He fielded seven teenagers against Essendon, only to lose by just eight points.
“The big area from the club’s perspective is to target a few key players in the off season.”
“Jonathan Brown isn’t getting any younger … we’ve got our targets that we’d like to look at.”