by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago
Just days after the conclusion of Round 20, coach Michael Voss was informed by the Brisbane board that his contract would not be renewed. He declined the option to see out the season and assistant coach Mark Harvey was appointed caretaker coach. In making the announcement, chairman Angus Johnson said the club had conducted "a robust, thorough and comprehensive process ... before making the final decision". He also said that Voss had been aware of the process for some months and, having known Voss for 15 years, the decision had been difficult but that the board believed a fresh approach was needed.
Johnson acknowledged Voss' contributions to the club as both a player and coach, saying the progress made under Voss would add to his legacy with the club. Of his dismissal, Voss said he was not sad or angry, just a bit disappointed. He continued "The club is dear to me ... I've gone every day and there's something to improve in our players ... that's what I'll miss the most." Voss used Twitter to thank the fans for their support.
Former teammate Chris Johnson expressed shock when he heard the news, saying he thought Voss had done enough to get the team competitive late in the season. Another former teammate Craig McRae was one of many to offer their sympathy for the outgoing coach. Former Brisbane coach and current SEN commentator Robert Walls also expressed shock and said that Voss should have been given at least another two years in the job.
It is believed the club had already been in contact with several possible candidates. Former Sydney coach Paul Roos had been contacted about a month ago but is still insistent that he is not interested in a coaching role at this time. However, in a television interview, he did not completely rule out a change of mind. Should Roos change his mind and be appointed Brisbane coach, it would be full circle for him. Roos began his playing career with the Fitzroy Lions but crossed to Sydney before they merged with the Brisbane Bears at the end of 1996.
Voss replaced Leigh Matthews at the end of 2008 and took the club into the Finals in 2009. However on the back of some poor recruiting and trading decisions, the Lions have struggled since that time finishing 13th, 15th, and 13th in the past three seasons.
HONORS: Captain 1997-2006: 1996 Brownlow Medal (co-winner with James Hird); Best & Fairest 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2003; All-Australian 1996, 1999, 2001 (vice-captain), 2002-2003 (captain); AFL Hall of Fame inductee 2011.
Source: Clare Pettyfor, Club Media Release, theage.com.au, sen.com.au
Article last changed on Tuesday, August 20, 2013 - 4:51 AM EDT