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EXCLUSIVE: Lions to appoint Chris Fagan as coach

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 16: Chris Fagan, GM Football Operations of the Hawks looks on during the 2016 AFL Second Semi Final match between the Hawthorn Hawks and the Western Bulldogs at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 16, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media)
Chris Fagan to be officially announced as Lions senior coach on Tuesday

THE BRISBANE Lions have settled on Chris Fagan as their next senior coach and are set to announce his appointment on Tuesday. understands the Hawthorn football manager, who has been the front-runner for a number of weeks, has been confirmed as the selection committee's preference.

Fellow candidates, including former Western Bulldogs assistant Brett Montgomery, are in the process of being informed of the club's decision.

Carlton assistant John Barker, who is overseas, also made an impressive case during a presentation last week but fell short.

Fagan was first interviewed by Brisbane Lions' CEO Greg Swann and list manager Peter Schwab two weeks ago in Melbourne and presented to the committee last week.

The 55-year-old has been a key member of the Hawks' off-field team for all four premiership wins in 2008 and 2013-2015.

He has extensive experience in coaching with the Hawks, Melbourne, Tassie Mariners, North Hobart and Sandy Bay.

The veteran administrator played 275 games in Tasmania.

Fagan was mooted as a strong candidate shortly after the Lions sacked Justin Leppitsch at the end of the season.

The coach search narrowed quickly after multiple strong candidates chose not to apply, believing it was a two-horse race between Fagan and Barker. 

The five-person panel to select the new coach included new football manager David Noble, Swann and Schwab.

Rounding out the panel was club great Simon Black and consultant and psychologist Matti Clements, who was a member of the panel that selected St Kilda coach Alan Richardson.

The Lions are expected to appoint a senior assistant to work under Fagan, with a number of assistant coaching positions also to be filled.