The Brisbane Lions have appointed Peter Schwab to a newly created recruitment and retention role to prevent repeats of last year’s exodus of young guns.
Schwab, serving as the struggling Lions’ head of coaching and development since September, will move into the new position of talent acquisition and retention manager over the next month.
The three-time Hawthorn premiership player and coach takes the responsibilities following the departure of former national talent manager Rob Kerr.
Brisbane’s football operations manager, Dean Warren, will also absorb the task of negotiating player contracts.
Warren said Kerr’s departure prompted the club to reassess where the football department’s resources were best allocated, especially after recent dramas surrounding the ‘Go Home Five’.
The Lions saw first and second-round draftees Jared Polec, Billy Longer, Elliot Yeo, Sam Docherty and Patrick Karnezic move back to their southern states citing homsickness.
“We feel that this new model will not only help us better acquire new talent, but also retain them,” Warren said.
“Being an AFL club based in the northern states with over 85 per cent of our list from interstate the ‘go home’ and ‘stay home’ factors with always be a challenge, so the appropriate resourcing of our player welfare, education and support services is critical.
“Schwabby’s incredible AFL expertise made him an ideal appointment for such as position, and he’s thrilled to be embarking on this new challenge.”