The Courier-Mail

Ad­cock still has pride

- GREG DAVIS

JED Ad­cock says he was shocked and dis­ap­pointed when told there was no place for him in Bris­bane’s firstchoic­e side next sea­son.

The for­mer Lions cap­tain has no plans to re­tire and says he still has the ut­most re­spect for se­nior coach Justin Lep­pitsch, who de­liv­ered the march­ing or­ders last month.

Ad­cock, 29, will play his 206th and fi­nal se­nior game for Bris­bane when the Lions host the fi­nals-bound Western Bull­dogs at the Gabba to­day.

The de­fender, who made his AFL de­but in 2004, un­der­stands Bris­bane’s de­sire to get games into young play­ers and he pre­dicts a bright fu­ture for the club.

“I was shocked at first and I prob­a­bly ques­tioned the club’s de­ci­sion a lit­tle bit be­cause I felt like I was still in the best 22,’’ he said.

“It was a hard con­ver­sa­tion to have with Leppa.

“The re­al­ity of footy some­times is that you have to move on when you think you are not quite ready.

“They’ve got to start push­ing the youth through and it’s an op­por­tu­nity to con­tinue my ca­reer else­where.

“It’s pretty mixed emo- tions at the mo­ment. It’s a sad time be­cause I’ve been here for 12 years and this place has been a big part of my life.

“The club has been great to me and my fam­ily, I’ve made some fan­tas­tic friends along the way and it was an hon­our to cap­tain the club and play along­side some out­stand­ing peo­ple.’’

Ad­cock will go on the free agency mar­ket next month and hopes to even­tu­ally en­ter the coach­ing ranks.

“I feel like I’ve got plenty to of­fer a club with my ex­pe­ri­ence and lead­er­ship,” he said. “I’ve got a re­ally big pas­sion for coach­ing and hope­fully I can tran­si­tion into a coach­ing role af­ter another one or two more years of run­ning around try­ing to get a kick.’’

Ad­cock said the Lions would be “primed’’ for a fi­nals as­sault in the near fu­ture.

“This is a re­ally tight-knit play­ing group who are fully fo­cused on win­ning games of footy,” he said. “They un­der­stand and ap­pre­ci­ate what the club is do­ing and the di­rec­tion it is try­ing to head.

“The tal­ent here is re­ally good. In two, three years, they’ll have a side ca­pa­ble of play­ing fi­nals.’’

Ad­cock said he and Lep­pitsch re­main on good terms.

“I’ve known Leppa since I first got to the club and we played along­side each other,” he said. “I con­sid­ered him my men­tor and he was also an as­sis­tant coach here when I played ar­guably my best sea­son of footy in 2007.

“We are fine. I re­spect Leppa for be­ing hon­est.’’

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 ??  ?? FREE AGENT: Jed Ad­cock wants to play on.
FREE AGENT: Jed Ad­cock wants to play on.

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