THE BRISBANE Lions' captaincy is up for grabs, new coach Chris Fagan confirmed on Monday.
But Fagan said a decision on whether incumbent Tom Rockliff would remain as skipper would not be made until a player vote before the 2017 pre-season competition.
The former Hawthorn football boss did not rule out Rockliff retaining the captaincy despite a tumultuous end to 2016.
However, Fagan said Rockliff would have to earn it.
Rockliff strained relations with the Lions at the end of this season and was reportedly interested in leaving the club, but ultimately decided to play out the final year of his deal in 2017 after receiving little interest in the NAB AFL Trade Period.
Fagan said he had two "productive" talks with Rockliff since arriving at the club.
"He knows the captaincy is up for grabs," Fagan said.
"He knows what is required and appreciates the fact that I have been clear.
"He will be treated like any other player this pre-season but I expect him to put his best foot forward."
Asked if he could see Rockliff remaining as captain, Fagan said: "I don't want to precede anything but whoever is Lions captain next year would have earned the right.
"If he (Rockliff) isn't captain he would be naturally disappointed.
"But what I am hoping is that he puts the effort in over the pre-season to put his name back up there - that's the best he can do."
Fagan officially began his Lions rebuild as coach on Monday when first-to-fourth-year players returned for pre-season training.
Players with five years or more experience like Rockliff will return in a fortnight.
Fagan revealed the Lions would hold a December camp in Tasmania as part of their pre-season.
They are coming off a 17th-placed finish last season – their third straight season in the bottom four.