Main content

Recommended videos

Highlights: Richmond v Carlton

11:17pm Mar 27, 2014

Malthouse rues costly mistakes

11:44pm Mar 27, 2014

Recommended articles

Sunday football as it happened

Sunday football as it happened

Recap Port's Showdown upset, plus big wins for the Hawks and Tigers

11:45am Apr 14, 2013

St Kilda v Richmond as it happened

St Kilda v Richmond as it happened

 Recap Friday night's MCG clash as the Tigers make their best start to a season in 16 years

04:00pm Apr 5, 2013

Carlton v Collingwood as it happened

Carlton v Collingwood as it happened

Recap Friday night's blockbuster as the Blues capitulate in front of 78,000 at the MCG

10:36pm Jul 5, 2013

Saturday football as it happened

Saturday football as it happened

Recap a day bookended by two major boilovers

01:00pm Mar 30, 2013

Fantasy review: round three

Fantasy review: round three

It was a tough round for AFL Fantasy coaches, Warnie writes

10:42pm Apr 6, 2014

Football world sends off Hafey in style

Football world sends off Hafey in style

Tom Hafey remembered as a great coach and a wonderful man

06:15pm May 19, 2014

'There's no excuses': Leppitsch promises Lions will rise

Michael Whiting  March 8, 2016 1:18 PM

Watts mulls, Hawks' free swing, Gaz certain Matt Thompson and Nat Edwards present Footy Feed
AFL 2015 Rd 22 - Hawthorn v Brisbane

Justin Leppitsch won't hear talk of the Lions languishing down the bottom of the ladder again

The AFL average is 100 games playing finals - we sit at about 70 right now

FRESH from inking a new contract extension, Justin Leppitsch says there are "no excuses" for the Brisbane Lions from this season. 

After two seasons in charge, Leppitsch has agreed to a deal that will keep him at the Gabba until at least the end of 2017.

He said after huge changes of personnel both on and off the field since his tenure began, the Lions now have all the building blocks in place to climb back up the ladder. 

"There's no excuses as far as personnel goes," Leppitsch said.

"That's just the facts. The beauty is we're only going to go up from here."

Aside from 34 list changes in the past three off-seasons, the off-field turnover at the Lions has been huge.

The football manager (Matt Francis), head of physical performance (Damien Austin) and head of welfare (Craig and Melissa Lambert) all changed in the past six months.

No hiccup from washout, says Saint Weller

Leppitsch says with a settled club, he is confident the tide will turn.

He said the on-field talent was now in place – albeit a little inexperienced at both ends of the ground – and would start peaking in about two years time.

"When I got here we didn't have a replacement for Jonathan Brown, now we have three," Leppitsch said.

"The last couple of years has been about getting the personnel on board that can take us forward. 

"We feel we've got that. 

"I think your players need to mature. The AFL average is 100 games playing finals - we sit at about 70 right now.

"They're basic markers, basic indicators … but without the talent there's no point persisting with those players to go forward. But we have the talent we can persist with and the coaches and the club and the gameplan to go forward, and I'm really confident on that. 

"If we don't build a list capable of getting there, it's useless, and I think we've done that the last couple of seasons. 

"There'll be bumps in the road but we have to ride those out together."

Leppitsch said he was not concerned that Sunday's NAB Challenge washout against St Kilda would adversely affect his team's preparation for round one against West Coast.

"This time last year I thought we were flying and hadn't lost a game in the pre-season, so who knows.

"There's no secret formula and very rarely the pre-season equates to what happens in season. 

"As long as we're focused and prepared for round one, that's the main thing." 

The Lions round out their pre-season against Greater Western Sydney at Metricon Stadium on Sunday.