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Crows mentor in the mix for Lions job

Football

Brisbane great Jonathan Brown believes the Lions must look for an experienced football person, not necessarily a former senior AFL coach, as they search for a replacement for Justin Leppitsch.

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Adelaide list manager David Noble, Sydney assistant and onetime Port star Stuart Dew, former Carlton coach Brett Ratten and former Blues caretaker coach John Barker have all been touted as leading candidates.

Brisbane chairman Bob Sharpless and chief executive Greg Swann fronted a press conference yesterday to announce the board’s decision to release Leppitsch from the final year of his contract after the Lions slumped to 17th with just three wins this season.

“My gut feel is that it’s probably an experienced coach or an experienced person,” Brown said on Fox Footy’s On The Couch when asked what Brisbane needed in a coach.

The football department is dysfunctional… and that hurts me to say as an ex-player

“I don’t think he necessarily has to have coached senior AFL football, we’ve seen guys like Don Pyke come in (and be successful) … but he’s going to have to be pretty resilient and thick-skinned.”

Brown also called for a seasoned football industry veteran to be placed in charge of a football department he branded dysfunctional.

“There is obviously a fair bit of distrust (at board level) and a fair bit of distrust in the football department as well,” Brown said.

“So it’s a big operation (to fix) going forward.

“The football department has got problems there. They’re not united, the playing group is not on board with some of the off-field staff, so it needs to be completely tidied up.

“It is dysfunctional, unfortunately, at the moment and that hurts me to say as an ex-player.”

While disappointed at the state of the Lions, Brown admitted he wasn’t surprised to see the axe fall on his mate after three dismal seasons at the helm.

“I think he was in a bit of trouble … he presented to the board last week and it was a positive presentation but he was coming from a long way back,” he said.

“This has probably been in the works for the last few weeks. Leppitsch presented really well and I think he had the support of Leigh Matthews but … the AFL recommendation was that they probably didn’t want Leppa to continue in that job.

“Ultimately though it was the board’s decision, which Leigh Matthews is a part of and unfortunately he got his marching orders one year early.”

-AAP

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