Brisbane coach Chris Fagan has revealed he called every Lions-listed player at least once a week during the AFL’s coronavirus shutdown.
Zoom meetings became a constant for clubs to stay in touch for almost two months following the AFL’s suspension on March 22.
But Fagan says the group video calls didn’t seem enough and wanted to add a personal touch to ensure his players were coping during lockdown.
In fact, the time away from football allowed Fagan to build even stronger relationships with certain players.
“I kept in contact with every player individually via the phone,” he told Fox Footy.
“Sometimes you can have those catch-ups with groups of people, but if someone’s struggling, they’re not necessarily going to say in that group situation.
“I made individual phone calls every week, the same to staff; pretty time consuming to do that but worthwhile.
“As a senior coach you tend to spend a lot of time with the more senior group of players, but I pretty much treated everyone equally.
“I spoke to a lot of guys who play in the reserves and got to know them pretty well over that period time and I think they appreciated that too.”
Fagan says the club is closely monitoring the fitness of their players with less than three weeks of full contact training before their round two clash with Fremantle at the Gabba on June 13.
“It’s a day-by-day process. You just need to get a good tag on the group and speak to the medical guys to see what the levels of soreness are like,” he said.
Key defender Marcus Adams is the only Brisbane player regaining fitness following foot surgery earlier in May.
Last year’s big improvers are aiming to bounce back from a 28-point round one loss to Hawthorn.