THE ODDS of Tom Rockliff remaining at the Brisbane Lions in 2018 are "high" according to coach Chris Fagan.
Fagan has been impressed with the 27-year-old's attitude since the pair met and had a frank discussion about Rockliff’s future soon after the coach was appointed.
However, with Rockliff a free agent at the end of this season he could make a decision to go elsewhere if he determined it was in his best interests.
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Fagan told AFL.com.au he got the sense that Rockliff aimed to perform well and stay at Brisbane, even though he understood he would be disappointed to no longer be captain after two seasons at the helm.
"I reckon the odds are high [of him staying]," Fagan said.
"He loves Brisbane footy club. He wants to see the club do well. This is how he speaks to me, so I can only take him at his word."
Although Fagan said he understood the landscape could change quickly, he hoped his current feelings about whether Rockliff stayed a Lion would be the same at season's end.
"If things change at the end of the year, which they sometimes do because he is a free agent, I will be surprised," Fagan said.
"I hope it doesn't, but that is all up to what happens over the next few months."
Fagan said the club was more than comfortable to appoint the former skipper as vice-captain to Dayne Beams and understood it meant Rockliff would be captain if Beams missed a game through injury.
"That is the reason why we put him vice captain… to really make that statement that we are really happy with the improvement he has made as a leader," Fagan said.
"It would be disappointing for Tom that he wasn't captain, but he should be pleased that he is vice captain because he has come such a long, long way from where he was at four or five months ago."