Brisbane Lions coach Chris Fagan has earned rave reviews after his classy message to those who have lost jobs in the AFL industry following the Lions’ preliminary final loss.
Despite coming into the match holding a 10-game winning streak, Fagan’s men were thoroughly outclassed by an experienced Geelong side at the Gabba.
However, after a candid press conference, Fagan took the reporters by surprise by issuing a final heartfelt statement to those suffering due to the COVID-19 crisis.
“It’s been tough on everybody and I think it’s a credit to the AFL and it’s a credit to all the clubs that we’ve been able to get the season away and we’ve only got one game to go,” he said.
“When we look back on this year historically it’s going to be a really important year for the AFL that we were able to get the season up and away. Hopefully next year we can get somewhere back near normal and things get back growing again.
“A lot of people have lost jobs in the industry this year, really good people. I want to reach out to them and wish them all the best and hopefully some way or another they can find their way back in.
“What I know about all the people who work at footy clubs is they’re so passionate about the game and they’re so passionate about the players and helping them get better.
“It’s just sad to see so many of my colleagues not in work anymore. Hopefully they can find some purposeful employment and get back within the industry as soon as possible.”
Fagan’s moving message was praised by Kangaroos great David King, who said the coach was a reason why the Lions have been able to attract stars in in recent years.
“He’s hurting, there’s no doubt about that, but to be able to go outside of himself and say you know what, there’s more hurting more than I am, and it’s those who have lost their jobs, there’s no wonder people want to play for this man,” he told Fox Footy.
“It sounds like they’ve got Joe Daniher by what he’s just said then, and that doesn’t surprise me. If you have a meeting or a chat with this guy, how he can impact you.”
The 59-year-old’s speech was also praised by Hawks great Jordan Lewis, who played under Fagan when he was an assistant at Hawthorn between 2008 and 2016.
“For a coach that has just lost a preliminary final, he’d have a lot going through his head, so to thank everyone, his players, the partners and the fans, I thought was a classy act,” he told Fox Footy.
“He is genuine and that comes across any time you speak to him. There’s a genuine nature and a genuine love and care and there’s a lot of players around the league that would love to play under him.”