AFL 2 years ago

Leppa urges patience with Lions' cubs

  • Leppa urges patience with Lions' cubs

    BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 18: Lions coach Justin Leppitsch speaks to media during the round 13 AFL match between the Brisbane Lions and the West Coast Eagles at The Gabba on June 18, 2016 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Brisbane coach Justin Leppitsch has once again pleaded with the AFL club's fans to be patient with the Lions' cubs.

Booing could be heard at the Gabba on Saturday during a 49-point loss to West Coast when teenage forward Josh Schache slowed the play down after finding a lack of options ahead of him.

Leppitsch says it can be easy to remember the Lions fielded a trio of teenagers in their forward line at times against the Eagles in 18-year-old Schache, debutant Eric Hipwood and Ben Keays.

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"Those kids I watched in an AIS jersey in under-18s last year," he said.

"They are first-year players running around and I'm asking them to take marks, kick goals and put pressure on in the forward 50 against men now.

"You've got to understand the jump in that. They're not coming as a 22-year-old from a different system, they're coming from a kid's system into an adult's system.

"It's unfair to label too much stuff on those young boys."

After watching his team slump to their ninth consecutive defeat, there are areas where Leppitsch is less forgiving however.

The ex-Lions premiership player said some of the basic skill errors by his players against the Eagles were "alarming" and need to be addressed.

"There is a good spirit within our group from Monday to Friday, yes, there are some errors and some things we're not doing well but that hasn't stopped our guys being focused," he said.

"Their knowledge is good, we've just got to get that implementation right more consistently."

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