Bottom of the AFL ladder. Reports of rifts between players and the coach. Requests for trades.
By any definition Brisbane are a club in crisis.
But if Lions coach Justin Leppitsch is concerned, then he’s got a great poker face.
The Lions were rocked on Tuesday when young midfielder Jack Redden informed Leppitsch he wants a trade, feeling he’s becoming stale and needs a new location to get back to his best form.
Redden is believed to be the first of several Lions players looking for a way out of the troubled club.
James Aish and Matthew Leuenberger are widely expected to leave during the upcoming trade period while Stefan Martin and Dayne Zorko have also been named as among those keen to pack their bags.
Leppitsch is keeping a calm outward appearance however, insisting the Lions are setting out on a path back to success.
“There’s still lots of things about our football club that need to improve,” Leppitsch said.
“We’ve made a lot of changes, particularly off the field and that sometimes can make players a bit nervous about what’s going to happen in the future.
“All I can say is it’s going to be a better place, the footy club.”
Lions captain Tom Rockliff, who took to social media last month to rubbish a reported rift between himself and Zorko, said he had tried to convince Redden to reconsider his trade request.
Leppitsch says he can accept Redden’s reasons for wanting a new environment but hasn’t given up hope of convincing the 24-year-old to stay at the Gabba.
“We still think we can get the best out of Jack, it’s just a matter of proving that to Jack,” Leppitsch said.
“Keeping in touch with him and making sure we’re doing the best we can to keep him and show his best footy is here.”
Leppitsch also said if his relationship with Redden was strained, it’s news to him.
“I wouldn’t say any of my relationships with the players is poor,” Leppitsch said.
“There are varying degrees of relationships with every people in your life but I wouldn’t say it’s a poor relationship at all.
“At times clubs make decisions on players and players make decisions on clubs.
“We’re very confident we’ve got all the players we want. They’re contracted, they’re here and we think we’re going to get better as a footy club. That’s our position on that.”