As someone who almost left Brisbane as a homesick draftee, incoming coach Justin Leppitsch can understand why some of the Lions' young cubs want to return to their native state.

But Leppitsch - whose loyalty to Brisbane as a player was ultimately rewarded with three straight flags - hopes the Lions youngsters mulling over their future "think with their head as much as their heart".

Leppitsch on Monday arrived at the Gabba for the first time since officially taking over the reins from his 2001-03 premiership teammate Michael Voss.

However, Leppitsch had already been hard at work on the phones in a bid to convince some of the club's most promising talent to remain.

Leppitsch has given co-captain Jonathan Brown and fellow veteran star Simon Black plenty of space as they contemplate playing another year - but not so the young guns.

While Pat Karnezis (Victoria) and Jared Polec (South Australia) appear determined to return to their native states, Leppitsch is keeping his fingers crossed he can get through to the likes of Elliot Yeo, Billy Longer and Sam Docherty.

"I was a 17-year-old drafted to Brisbane as well so I share their fears," he said.

"I nearly left myself after two years.

"They are in a very similar situation that I was.

"For me it is getting them to think with their head as much as their heart."

Asked what would make the players stay in Brisbane, Leppitsch said: "I said to them they are getting a new coach no matter where they are.

"I think sometimes it is easier to stay, give it a go and if it doesn't work out than you can leave.

"If you make a hard and fast decision than you might be stuck with a poor decision.

"What happens with these young players...it will have a big bearing on the depth on our list, how we compete, and whether we just touch on making finals or whether we fall short.

"I know in the process a couple are going to go.

"We can only do so much to fixing the past. We have to make sure these things don't happen again."

Leppitsch has already looked at improving squad harmony by sending up to 30 players to an off-season Arizona training camp, almost double the usual number.

Leppitsch said the focus on retaining and developing the club's own talent was the reason behind dropping out of the hunt for out-of-contract Richmond young gun Dustin Martin.

He said Black will decide if he runs out for a 17th season once he receives a full medical update on knee and groin issues that plagued his 2013 season.

"Browny is probably closest to a decision. He is less a body issue. He is more 'is it time or is it not time?' - but I will give those guys their space," Leppitsch said.

 

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