Brisbane need AFL youth overhaul: Rockliff

Brisbane’s next AFL coach will have stronger structures for youth development if Lions captain Tom Rockliff has anything to do with his appointment.

The Lions won just three games in 2016 and Rockliff believes part of the problem was the team’s younger brigade were simply happy to be playing in the AFL.

And the captain insists an eye for working with youngsters is key for Justin Leppitsch’s predecessor after the club legend was sacked as coach on Monday.

“We need someone who is going to educate the group and have a real strong structure for development so we know where we’re at,” Rockliff told RSN927.

“We’re young and the development is really important for us.”

Rockliff and senior players Dayne Zorko, Daniel Merrett and Daniel Rich met with the club’s board earlier this month as it investigated the team’s underwhelming 2016 performance.

Rockliff indicated the Lions’ youth development was a key point, given nine youngsters debuted for Brisbane in 2016.

“We probably need some external leadership programs to come in and help us out,” he said.

Rockliff is yet to make contact with Leppitsch since Monday’s announcement.

However, Rockliff said he had no knowledge of the coach’s sacking leading into the Sunday’s 58-point loss to St Kilda.

Amid the fallout of Leppitsch’s departure, the 26-year-old also maintained his stance that he would be at the club next year.

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