Rockliff fears Lions player exodus

Two years after being rocked by a player exodus, Brisbane captain Tom Rockliff says the Lions must again reassess their ways amid fears a disgruntled Jack Redden’s departure will spark many others.

Rockliff said he had failed to talk good mate Redden out of leaving the dead-last Lions after the midfielder this week asked to be traded with a year left on his AFL contract.

But Rockliff was also concerned more teammates would follow Redden out the door in scenes reminiscent of the Lions’ 2013 drama.

“That’s probably the concern at the moment, yeah,” he said on Wednesday.

“I think when one (player) goes you are always worried.

“There’s speculation about a lot of players.

“We don’t know until they come and tell us.

“I think most of the group is pretty happy and can see the future and where we are heading.

“There might be the odd couple that can’t.”

James Aish and Matthew Leuenberger are reportedly set to follow Redden.

Two years ago the Lions launched an internal probe after five home-sick players asked to return to their states in the 2013 AFL Trade period.

The Lions rebuilt under incoming coach Justin Leppitsch with more football department resources, including welfare and development.

However, Rockliff believed an unhappy Redden’s departure warranted another Lions internal review.

“Obviously we have to look at the way we do things around the footy club,” he said.

“If he (Redden) is upset obviously we need to improve in some areas of our footy club to make sure that we can retain them and keep players happy.”

Rockliff said he would “swap salaries” to keep best friend and former flatmate Redden at the Lions.

“It was pretty hard to swallow. It wasn’t easy for him to make that decision either,” he said of Redden who hopes to link with West Coast next year.

“I don’t think there’s anything I can do, to be honest, to change his mind.

“His issues are with other things within the footy club.”

Lions list manager Peter Schwab has not given up on Redden, who is in his seventh season with Brisbane.

“We’ll try to talk to Jack and see if we can change his mind, but if we can’t and that doesn’t happen then that gets the ball rolling and we’ll see what happens,” Schwab told afl.com.au website.

Ex-captain Jed Adcock is a confirmed end-of-season departure after the Lions could not guarantee him a place in the 2016 squad.

Brisbane (4-18 record) look set to collect the wooden spoon after their last game of the year against the sixth-placed Western Bulldogs at the Gabba on Saturday.

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