Tue, Aug 30, 12:22pm by Senior Writer
Former Fitzroy, Brisbane and Hawthorn player and now Carlton assistant coach John Barker is the favourite to assume the Brisbane Lions coaching position after Justin Leppitsch’s departure on Monday.
Leppitsch’s turbulent three-year reign came to an end just a day after Brisbane narrowly avoided the wooden spoon.
And bookmakers have moved quickly to install Barker as a $3.75 favourite to assume the job on a full-time basis.
Barker already has some senior coaching experience, stepping in when Mick Malthouse was sacked as Carlton coach midway through 2015 to oversee the Blues’ last 13 games of the season.
He is about to complete his Level Four coaching accreditation, and has spent 10 seasons as an assistant coach at St Kilda, Hawthorn and Carlton.
Brisbane have indicated they aren’t scared of appointing another coach without permanent senior experience despite the club enduring a horror run after selecting club legends Michael Voss and Leppitsch to lead the Lions in recent years.
Former Carlton coach Brett Ratten is $7 second favourite with Sportsbet, despite recently signing an extension with Hawthorn as an assistant.
Adelaide’s head of football David Noble is third pick at $8 after glowing recent praise from Gerard Healy and David King.
AFL.com.au named a shortlist of eight coaches, which also included Scott Burns (Collingwood), David Teague (Adelaide) and Simon Lloyd (Geelong), while Brendan McCartney and Mark Williams are the two other former senior coaches who have been mooted.
Sportsbet have 19 candidates at $21 or shorter to secure the job in an indication of the open nature of the position.
Any new coach will have their work cut out turning things around with the Lions struggling on and off the field and their facilities described be their own players as the worst in the league,
Since triple premiership coach Leigh Matthews left the club at the end of 2008, the Lions have won just 42 of 107 games under Voss and 14 off 66 under Leppitsch.
They have played just one final in 12 seasons since they lost the 2004 Grand Final.
Brisbane next coach market: Sportsbet
$3.75 John Barker
$7.00 Brett Ratten
$8.00 David Noble
$10 Stuart Dew
$12 Brett Montgomery
$13 Adam Kingsley
$16 Blake Caracella
$16 Simon Lloyd
$16 Mark Thompson
$16 Craig Lambert
$21 Jade Rawlings
$21 Guy McKenna
$21 Chris Fagan
$21 Brendon Lade
$21 Scott Burns
$21 Craig McRae
$21 Robert Harvey
$21 Matthew Nicks
$21 Peter Sumich
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