Former Brisbane ruckman Matthew Leuenberger has given an insight into the Lions’ woes, saying it’s been a thrill to join an AFL club that has “a lot of money and great facilities”.
Essendon signed Leuenberger as a free agent following the 2015 season.
The fit-again big man, who suffered a series of serious injuries in his 108-game career at the Lions, has played every match this season.
Leuenberger dominated the ruck contests in the Bombers’ last-start loss to St Kilda and is starting to show snippets of his best form.
The 27-year-old suggested his body is benefiting from travelling less frequently.
But Leuenberger has also opened up about the Lions’ embarrassing facilities at the Gabba.
“It’s quite a thrill to be able to go to a club like Essendon where there’s a lot of money and great facilities,” Leuenberger told radio station SEN.
“It’s great to come in every day, lift your weights there and train there, all under the one facility.
“Not having to go to Coorparoo for training, back to the Gabba for recovery then off to a swimming pool in Cannon Hill.
“I hope, speaking with a lot of the Brisbane guys who have been hanging out for a few years now, that the facilities could change and improve.”
Brisbane officials have been trying to solve the issue in recent years and there have been discussions about potentially establishing a new base at Logan, Coorparoo or near the airport.
The Lions are Bombers are currently “miles apart” in terms of resources, according to Leuenberger.
“I feel like I’ve gone from one extreme to the other … it was like he (former Lions coach Michael Voss) was coaching with his arms behind his back a bit,” Leuenberger recalled.
“He sort of didn’t have development coaches and (as many) assistant coaches.
“There’s no natural sunlight in the Brisbane training facility, you go under ground and there’s a poky little gym. Not much of a meeting room, tiny offices.
“You go to Essendon and it’s huge .. the gym is almost as big as the Brisbane Lions’ facility.”
Leuenberger, who suffered an achilles injury during pre-season, is optimistic he is over the worst of a wretched run.
“It’s been frustrating but so far (at the Bombers) it’s been great. I’ve managed to play every game this year and I’m training every week,” the No.4 draft pick from 2006 said.