Lessons learned from a tumultuous off-season have ensured team bonding will be the priority at the Brisbane Lions' high-altitude camp in the United States.

Justin Leppitsch took up the head coach reins after five players decided to return to their home states citing homesickness amid a messy, public boardroom stoush.

Leppitsch was able to talk James Polkinghorne and Brent Staker out of leaving.

But Billy Longer (St Kilda), Jared Polec (Port Adelaide), Sam Docherty (Carlton), Elliot Yeo (West Coast) and Patrick Karnezis (Collingwood) had made their minds up.

While Leppitsch was coy on the results of their in-house investigation into the "Go Home Five", he was certain the squad's two week trip to Arizona was a step toward stopping another post-season exodus.

"One thing we really want to build as a club is togetherness this year, and it's critical that we do it," said Leppitsch of the Lions who flew out for the US on Wednesday.

"Having everyone together for this trip is going to be great for our bonding, not just for the players that know each other but the new players and new coaching staff.

"Our club has more than 80 per cent of people from interstate, so probably more than any other club we need to continue that and put more effort into that."

Leppitsch said it was more than just homesickness that led to the post-season player departure that swiftly followed predecessor Michael Voss' surprise sacking that sparked the boardroom battle.

"Every club tends to lose one or two players every year. This year was unusually high with five, but we're hoping it's just a blip," he said.

"We've met about it, we've managed it. We're not going to talk too much about the details but it's something we definitely have addressed and hoping we've fixed."

Meanwhile, Brownlow Medallist Simon Black has hit the ground running in his new role of assistant coach barely two weeks after ending his glittering 322-game career.

"Initially it's a matter of dipping my toes in the water and seeing whether I'm suited to coaching and get a feel for it first and go from there," Black said.

"At some stage if you're going to go down the coaching path you've got to get experience outside the club you played at, that's a given, but I'm really excited by Leppa coming on-board."

 

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