Lions re-sign Fagan with aim of finals
BRISBANE coach Chris Fagan says he has the time to return the Lions to the finals after signing a two-year contract extension on Tuesday night.
Fagan had a year to run on his initial deal, and with the extension has three years to take the club from the wooden spoon last year to the top eight by 2021.
He said when he joined the Lions he thought the rebuild would take "somewhere around five years" and he has now been granted that time after making significant improvements in his second season in charge.
Although the Lions have so far equalled last season's tally of five wins, the percentage has leapt from 61 per cent and three wins in the final year under Justin Leppitsch to be hovering around 90 per cent this season.
In 2016 Brisbane had 10 losses by 10 goals or more.
This year there has been just the one Round 5 thrashing by premiers Richmond, while five losses have been by seven points or less.
Lions chairman Andrew Wellington said the club appreciated the stability Fagan had brought to the organisation and supported his vision for the future.
"We are all really positive about what Chris has done with the team in just two years in charge and we are all very positive about where he can take us,'' he said.
"This is a commitment from us to give him the opportunity to take us further forward.''
Fagan said the extension allowed him to properly map out a plan that would set the club up for long-term success.
"It is good to get that extra two years well before the current deal has expired, because it allows you to plan ahead and make decisions that are in the best interests of the club over a period of time to get where we want to get to,'' he said.
"To me coaching an AFL team was a dream, but I didn't want to just get a job, I wanted to get a job and do it well.
"If the club is not in finals by the time that five years is up then I honestly feel like I would have failed to some degree.
"Now I know some things can come along to mitigate that like injuries, but by and large if we get a fair run that is where I would like us to be by that point in time.''
Fagan said the next step would be to challenge for a premiership, and he expected that to happen in the next five years.
"Yes, that's what you would hope for, that is what the planning is all about,'' he said.
"I don't see any reason why not with the group that we have got. You don't have a crystal ball and you can't see into the future, but if everything goes to plan that is where the club should be.''
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