BRISBANE Lions skipper Tom Rockliff is expected to remain at the club in 2017, according to new football manager David Noble.
Speaking to NAB AFL Trade Radioon Tuesday, Noble said Adelaide had never been too optimistic about their chances of bringing Rockliff to the Crows. Noble was formerly Adelaide's football boss.
Rockliff is contracted until the end of next season.
"At this stage, we expect him (Rockliff) to be a player for us," Noble said.
New coach Chris Fagan was headed back to Melbourne on Tuesday after being announced earlier in the day that he was leaving Hawthorn to replace Justin Leppitsch.
Noble said the Rockliff connection with Adelaide was through the Crows' fitness boss Brett Burton, who formerly held a similar role with the Lions.
"He (Burton) and Tom had a really good working relationship and that seemed to be the connection," Noble said.
"There wasn't really any traction when I was at Adelaide that Tom was coming there.
"We'd had an idea of what the strategy was looking like, then with all due respect, I dropped out as the Brisbane job started to have a bit more traction."
Speaking at a press conference to announce Fagan as the new coach earlier on Tuesday, Noble said the Lions are "open to everything and anything" during the NAB AFL Trade Period, but would not speculate on individual players.
With the futures of Rockliff and Pearce Hanley the centre of much conjecture in recent weeks, new football manager David Noble was firm when asked about them on Tuesday.
"We're not going to comment on individuals," Noble said.
"That'll be our course of business, to discuss that internally and work our way forward.
"(It's) fair to say we're open to everything and anything. We're not going to put anything on the table or take anything off.
"Chris (coach Chris Fagan) and I will need to get our feet under the table and work with 'Schwabby' (list manager Peter Schwab)."
>> On the app? Tap the green headphones in the top right corner to tune in
Fagan was asked whether he was a fan of Rockliff.
"I haven't met Tom Rockliff, haven't had a conversation with him, so it would be unfair for me to answer that question at this point in time," Fagan said.
"But I'm looking forward to meeting him and getting to know him."
Hanley's manager Paul Connors said on Monday his client would be happy to line up for the Lions in 2017, but would also be open to exploring all options, which was a position Noble was keen to clarify.
"I haven't had a chance to speak to Paul, so I'm interested to understand what the reasoning behind that is," Noble said.
Gold Coast is believed to be highly interested in the Irishman, who has three years remaining on his contract.
Discussions are ongoing with out-of-contract pair Josh Green and Darcy Gardiner.
"There's discussion with both those guys at the moment going on. Schwaby's (list manager Peter Schwab) been in contact with both of those players' managers," Noble said.
The Lions have applied for a priority pick but are yet to receive an answer. That decision has been held up by negotiations for the collective bargaining agreement with the players.
The final decision may not come before the start of the NAB AFL Trade Period next Monday.
"We're hopeful of hearing before we get into, or not too far into, trade period, as to where that gets positioned. I'm not sure what position (the AFL is) thinking," Noble said.
"We'd like to think in the next week, 10 days, two weeks at the maximum, that we'd have an answer."
He suggested more work needed to be done to improve the Lions' academy to ensure quality players kept coming through the system.
The Lions drafted Eric Hipwood and Ben Keays as academy selections last year, while highly rated gun forward Connor Ballenden is expected to be another pick-up for the club in 2017.
"We're one of the lucky clubs with an ongoing development pathway and we need to make sure there's an ongoing flow of talent coming through there," Noble said.
He said Fagan would look to ensure players had a chance to stay in the one position, rather than be thrown around the ground.
"That's one of the parts that he (Fagan) would like to implement, is to have some real clear understanding of role positions," Noble said.