Leppitsch role to be reviewed at season's end
IT CLEARLY doesn't get any easier for Justin Leppitsch.
You might think the Brisbane coach would be used to fronting press conferences after his team had been annihilated out on the field.
But Leppa was as uncomfortable as ever after the Lions were humiliated by a rampaging Adelaide out for blood - and a big percentage boost - on Saturday night.
It came in the form of a 138-point defeat - the merged club's second biggest ever, and now the biggest under Leppitsch's command. It followed a 94-point shellacking the previous week from the other Adelaide mob, the Power.
"It was boys against men,” a dejected Leppitsch said.
"We're wounded as a footy club, there's no doubt, because we don't even have replacements to bring in.
"We've got young kids just looking for the finish line.”
Through this whole mess that will see the Lions finish second bottom for the second straight season, there has been a hope that those boys will turn into men themselves and return the club to its glory days.
That may still be the case, but you can understand why the few good 'men' they already have could be looking at greener pastures.
And Leppitsch - whether he remains as coach or not - was pleading with them to stick with the club.
"I fear for our senior players, particularly Rocky (Tom Rockliff) and Zorks (Dayne Zorko),” he said. "They've been at this club a long time and we haven't given them a lot of success. They have got to hold up. They've got to play with a lot of kids and it must be draining for them to do that and get up week-in, week-out.
"I have a lot of sympathy for those guys and as a footy club we have got to protect them as much as we have to protect our kids because I am sure they are hitting the age now where they are thinking, where's this club going; what do we stand for?
"We have to keep reminding them good times are going to come.”
While Melbourne trio Lynden Dunn (165), Colin Garland (141) and Jack Watts (133) have played more games without a final than others currently getting around, Rockliff (131) and fellow Lions Pearce Hanley (126), Stefan Martin (111) and Zorko (98) aren't too far behind.
But, while he felt for his older charges, Leppitsch may be more than a little concerned about his own future.
Lions chairman Bob Sharpless confirmed yesterday Leppitsch's job would come under scrutiny at the end of the home and away season.
While again outlining Leppitsch was contracted until the end of the 2017 season, Sharpless admitted to Channel Nine "he will coach the remaining three games before being reviewed once the season is over”.
Leppitsch had been asked during the presser in Adelaide the night before how he was holding up to which replied "I'm good thanks ... thanks for your concern”.
Something tells us he may not be.