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Suns AFLW launch a 'distraction' for Lions

Lions coach Craig Starcevich admits the introduction of a second Queensland AFLW side in 2020 has been a "distraction" as player recruitment heats up.

Suns AFLW launch a 'distraction' for Lions

Lions coach Craig Starcevich admits the introduction of a second Queensland AFLW side in 2020 has been a "distraction" as player recruitment heats up.

CRAIG STARCEVICH, coach of the Lions addresses the team at quarter time during the 2017 AFLW match between the Fremantle Dockers and the Brisbane Lions at Fremantle Oval in Perth, Australia.
CRAIG STARCEVICH, coach of the Lions addresses the team at quarter time during the 2017 AFLW match between the Fremantle Dockers and the Brisbane Lions at Fremantle Oval in Perth, Australia. Picture:Photo by Daniel Carson/AFL Media/Getty Images

Lions coach Craig Starcevich admits the looming introduction of a second Queensland side in 2020 has been a "distraction" for his team after a 16-point loss to Carlton effectively ended their AFLW season.

With his assistant coach David Lake this week announced as the inaugural Gold Coast Suns AFLW boss, Starcevich said his players had already begun to consider their AFLW contracts for 2020.


"The big advantage for the expansion clubs is they're not playing right now, so they can put all their energy into ringing (players) up," Starcevich said.

"It's brilliant (for Lake) but it's a distraction for us. We're trying to win this comp, get these new players in and look after them, and all this is going on. Players are getting talked to, coaches are getting talked to."

The Lions coach said existing clubs would ideally have the opportunity to offer players longer than one-year contracts to aid with player retention.

But despite the additional competition from the Suns, Starcevich said he was confident the talent pool in Queensland could sustain another team.

"We'll say straight away, you'd love to have longer contracts for the key people in your group that you'd like to lock in," Starcevich said.

"We're pretty lucky in Queensland that the talent pool is quite deep."

With one round remaining in season three, the Lions are still a mathematical chance to make finals, but Starcevich said the two-time runners up were "battling to keep their heads above water".

They'll face Conference B strugglers Collingwood next week, and a win in that match could see them jump into the top two, depending on results elsewhere.

AAP


AAP




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