Lappin should look at coaching: Matthews - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lappin should look at coaching: Matthews

19/08/2008 05:21:08 PM Comments (0)

Brisbane Lions veteran Nigel Lappin is being urged to consider a coaching future after announcing his immediate retirement from AFL.

The triple premiership winner confirmed his 15-year career had been ended by a persistent Achilles injury that kept him to just four games this season.

Lappin didn't have to wait long to receive a reference for his next career move.

"Nigel's always had a great empathy for his teammates, and he knows the game, he's got a great empathy for the game," Lions coach Leigh Matthews told reporters at the Gabba announcement.

"I believe he understands the game too, more than most players.

"Nigel I'm sure has never thought of any possibility that he would go on and be a coach of any shape or form, but now the playing door has closed, well then you open your life up to possibilities, and that's obviously one of the distinct possibilities."

The quietly spoken 279-game veteran wouldn't rule out a future as a coach, but said he would first take a holiday to spend time with his young family.

"I always thought I'd just walk away," Lappin said.

"But when you get to the end it's sort of hard to walk away from something that's been a really big part of your life.

"There's a lot of options in different places where myself and my family can go, we've just got to try and work out which one's the best one for us."

The four-time All Australian remained composed as he reflected on his career, and was watched on by the entire club's playing and coaching personnel in an obvious display of respect.

The 32-year-old midfielder, who has played just 22 matches in the past three seasons due to injury, said he was "bitterly disappointed" the way his career had come to an end.

"It's hard not to live in the moment, and for me at the moment I haven't been able to get what I want out of footy," Lappin said.

"So at the moment I'm sort of frustrated by what has happened this year.

"But my career as a whole has been really successful."

A badly broken leg in 2005, an ankle reconstruction in 2006 and the Achilles problem has worn Lappin down, after being known in his earlier days for his durability.

"Mentally I was a little bit tired," he admitted.

"I was waking up and not really looking forward to playing footy as I had in previous years, and you just get the feeling it is time."

Lappin will "float around" Lions training until the end of the season, showing his dedication to the club has not waned.

"I'd like to finish the job I started so long ago, 15 years," he said.

"It does go really quickly, but I'd like to be here right to the end."

A member of the "fab four" that led the club to three consecutive premierships from 2001, Lappin saw the club's first premiership as the sweetest.

He will forever be remembered for his courage in the 2002 decider, when he took the field with a fractured rib suffered in the preliminary final.

The Lions will pay tribute to Lappin before their must-win clash against Carlton at the Gabba on Saturday.

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