New Lions boss wants 'selfless brand of football'
AFL: One of Chris Fagan's first duties as Brisbane Lions senior coach will be to get around and meet the players, in particular his skipper.
Before being officially announced as Justin Leppitsch's replacement, the 55-year-old had been introduced to heart-and-soul player Dayne Zorko "out in the corridor” and young rookie Reuben William "in the gym”.
A catch-up with captain Tom Rockliff, not to mention experienced wingman Pearce Hanley, surely won't be too far down the track.
With both players trade targets by rival clubs, Fagan will need to know whether they will want to be a part of his new regime - one that has to provide hope to both players and fans of the battling club.
"I'm looking forward to meeting him and getting to know him,” Fagan said of Rockliff.
With trade period to start next week, it will be the priority for the Lions' new leadership of football boss David Noble, from Adelaide, and Fagan, from Hawthorn.
"It's fair to say we're open to anything and everything,” Noble told reporters. "Chris and I need to get our feet under the table first.”
Once the Lions determine who's on board, Fagan will go to work on the toughest job in football - making the Lions "relevant” again.
"I'm not too worried about what's happened in the past,” Fagan said. "I'm more concerned about the future.
"As we've seen with the Bulldogs, things can turn around pretty quickly.”
Fagan arrives directly from the Hawks, who he joined in 2007, firstly as director of coaching and then head of football operations, working side by side with head coach Alastair Clarkson to deliver four premierships.
One of his roles at Waverley Park was to coach the coaches, including Luke Beveridge, Adam Simpson, Leon Cameron, Brendon Bolton and Damien Hardwick.
He now gets to the take the reins of an entire club in need of a mature head and looking for dramatic improvement across the board.
"The opportunity to work with a young list was enticing and to build culture at the club. Obviously on top of that is performance,” Fagan said.
"That's what I enjoy most, seeing young people improve.”
The Lions have finished second-last the past two years, but do have a wealth of promising youngsters as well as access to a growing academy.
"I was fortunate enough to sit in the Hawthorn coach's box for nine years ... I've learnt a lot. I'll bring all those experiences to the club,” Fagan said.
"We'll try and get consistent effort. That's what the fans want, they want to see the players play their heart out every week.
"I love a team that plays a selfless brand of football. That's what I've become used to. Hawthorn were the benchmark ... a place where the players sacrifice and care for each other.”