Tom Rockliff of the Lions celebrates their win over Essendon at Etihad Stadium in July.
Tom Rockliff of the Lions celebrates their win over Essendon at Etihad Stadium in July. TRACEY NEARMY

Rockliff keen to stay on as Lions skipper

AFL: Tom Rockliff has denied he was ready to walk out on the Brisbane Lions at the end of last season and is determined to retain the club captaincy heading into 2017.

While the 26-year-old was linked to several rival outfits, including Adelaide and Melbourne, during last month's trade period, he said yesterday "I didn't speak to any other clubs”.

"It was more about me catching up with the new football people put in place. Chris Fagan obviously came on board (as coach) and David Noble (as football manager),” Rockliff, who has a year to run on his current contract, told SEN radio.

"Once we had that meeting and went through where they thought I sat, where I thought the club sat, it was a really good meeting for all parties.

"In the end we both came to the decision we thought it was best that I stay, continue to improve and hopefully rebuild this football club. I definitely did not talk to another club.

"I'll always love the Brisbane Lions and the opportunity they gave me as an 18-year-old.

"I'm excited about the direction the football club is heading and we have some really exciting young talent and I'm glad that I'm going to be a part of it.”

Rockliff took over the captaincy from Jed Adcock at the end of 2014, and along with sacked coach Justin Leppitsch bore much of the brunt stemming from successive seasons of finishing second last.

"He (Fagan) has been upfront with me and he outlined clearly to me that there will be a process that we go through to select the leaders in 2017,” he said.

"I think if you look across the competition, when a new coach comes on board they review everything, everyone gets a fresh start and we put our best foot forward.

"Obviously I would enjoy being captain, but in saying that if I'm not captain then I'm fine with that as well.

"We've got some really good people that can do that job for us and it's going to be an exciting period for the football club to go on this journey together from 2017 and beyond.”

Rockliff said Dayne Zorko, Dayne Beams and Daniel Rich were potential successors.

"You look at our age demographic, we are quite young so I'm sure over the coming years those boys will put their hands up and we'll be able to identify in the next two years who the next captain is,” he said.