BRISBANE Lions vice-captain Tom Rockliff has told the club he wants to turn his back on free agency and play on at the Gabba.

Rockliff is due to enter restricted free agency at the end of the season, a year after he was unsuccessfully put up for trade by the Lions. 

Schache granted leave to head home

CEO Greg Swann told SEN radio on Thursday morning the club had opened contract talks with Rockliff's manager, Tom Petroro of Stride Sports.

"Dom Ambrogio, our list manager, has had some discussions with Tom's management. Tom has indicated that he wants to stay, so I think those talks are happening now," Swann said.

"He's had a super year, Tom, and we think that indications are really positive, so we'll see how that unfolds."

Rockliff is expected to miss the next two weeks with a shoulder injury, but opened 2017 in outstanding form, averaging 30 possessions, 10 clearances and eight tackles a game. 

Swann also said the Lions remained confident of re-signing 2015's No.2 draft pick Josh Schache despite the out-of-contract key forward's reluctance to recommit amid frenzied interest from clubs in his home state, Victoria.

Swann said Schache had deferred contract talks earlier this year to focus on playing better football, but was hopeful those discussions could recommence within the next month. 

"I think Josh is genuinely still making his mind up," Swann said.

"There's been a few false starts along the way. At one stage earlier this year, we were talking about getting it done and then he just said, 'Look, I want to wait until I start playing a bit better footy.'

"I'm sure there are always plenty of clubs who would like a 200cm key forward. They don't grow on trees, but we certainly haven't given up hope that he'll be staying. 

"We're still really confident that he'll stay. We certainly haven't been told that he's going to go.

"We're hopeful that can happen in the next few weeks or even within a month. We don't have a timeline on it, it will happen when it happens." 

In a promising debut season last year, Schache kicked 16.18 from 17 games and took 21 contested marks. But the 19-year-old has struggled this year, kicking just six goals from six games, while he is yet to take a contested mark.

Dropped to the NEAFL after round eight, Schache had just four possessions last weekend, prompting the Lions to send him for a break at home in Victoria to refresh himself.

Asked whether the Lions would consider not playing Schache at senior level again if it became apparent he would leave the club, Swann was adamant the Victorian would be treated like any other player. 

"In any of these situations form will dictate (selection), Chris (Fagan) picks blokes on form. Josh had struggled for a few weeks, so we just pushed him back (to the NEAFL) to try and get a bit of confidence back," Swann said. 

"Obviously last week it was well documented he didn't kill them – he only had four possessions – and he was just looking a little bit tired – I won't say stressed – so we just thought it would be best for him to freshen up. 

"If his form warrants it, which we think once he's cleared his mind and had a bit of a freshen up, we think he'll be back and he'll certainly be up for selection when his form warrants it.

"From our point of view, he's our player and until we know otherwise we treat him like he's our player and we will continue to develop him."