Leppitsch will 'win the respect' of players
New Lions coach Justin Leppitsch will bring "a very attacking approach" and "be good for the Gabba" but the Lions must "sort out their board issues".PT2M10S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2ud3r 620 349 September 25, 2013
Triple Brisbane Lions premiership defender Justin Leppitsch will become the coach of the Lions, a decision confirmed by the board on Tuesday evening.
As revealed exclusively by Fairfax Media earlier in the day, the 227-game triple All-Australian has won the position. He is understood to have received the blessing of his former coach Leigh Matthews, who had a key vote on the Lions' selection panel. Leppitsch, who will take on the senior job solo, won the role ahead of Sydney assistant Leigh Tudor.
He has worked at the Tigers as defensive coach since late 2009, having previously coached as an assistant at the Lions under Matthews and, briefly, sacked coach Michael Voss.
Justin Leppitsch does a lap of honour after retiring in June 2006. Photo: Paul Harris PRH
The AFL is understood to be satisfied with the appointment.
The future of Lions chairman Angus Johnson remained unclear after mediation talks at AFL headquarters at Docklands early on Tuesday. It is understood he is refusing to resign and the AFL is not asking him to stand down. Talks with the AFL were expected to continue later this week with the board stalemate unresolved.
Johnson will officially unveil Leppitsch at a media conference on Wednesday morning.
Ex-Brisbane coach Michael Voss, Collingwood assistant coach Craig McRae and new Lions boss Justin Leppitsch celebrate winning their third LIons premiership in 2003. Photo: Ray Kennedy
Leppitsch was picked up by Brisbane with the fourth pick in the 1992 draft and went on to feature in three premierships as an unrelenting centre half-back. He won the club's best-and-fairest award in 1999 and became an All-Australian defender in the same year.
He retired in 2006 after a running battle with injuries and took up a position as assistant coach at the Lions, before shifting to Richmond in 2009.
He now returns to take the place of former teammate Voss, who was sacked by the Lions a month before the end of the regular season.
Leppitsch will also be doing it all on his own after the club abandoned a succession plan where former Adelaide coach Neil Craig would have groomed a younger man into the coaching world.