Leppitsch relishes his weird AFL dream

Justin Leppitsch is sure he’s having an incredibly weird dream.


Mixed in with the horse and the midget, he’s sacked from coaching Brisbane and returns to Richmond, who promptly make the AFL grand final.

It’s so crazy, it cannot possibly be real.

But 12 months after his barren time at the Lions ended in failure, that’s exactly what has happened.

“It’s like I had this weird dream last night, I couldn’t believe it. Everything happens — good, bad, the whole lot,” Leppitsch said.

“A horse walks in, something strange happens, a midget with a chip hat walks in, all this strange stuff.

“And you walk away going ‘how did I just go from last year to this year?'”

The Lions sacked Leppitsch after three seasons where they finished no higher than 15th.

But Richmond coach Damien Hardwick was soon on the phone, asking the three-time Brisbane premiership defender to return to Punt Rd.

Leppitsch had worked under Hardwick at Richmond before taking the Brisbane job.

“A lot of emotions have gone into the last 12 months for me, good and bad,” he said.

“So it’s a hard one to even quantify.

“(Whenever) you get to grand final week, you’re very thankful and I’m just happy Damien asked me to come back last year and be a part of this.”

Leppitsch is Richmond’s forward coach and has received a lot of plaudits for the effectiveness of their unusual set-up in attack.

Rather than a couple of tall targets, it is Jack Riewoldt and then their mosquito fleet of small forwards, who rely on intense pressure to generate goals.

But Leppitsch said it is due to a number of personnel including fellow assistant Blake Caracella, who joined Richmond from a successful stint at Geelong.

Despite the pain of last year’s sacking, Leppitsch said it has worked out for the best.

“It’s probably better for everyone … sometimes that’s a good thing,” he said.

“You never want to leave a job, you never want to get booted from a job, no-one wants that.

“But I’ve enjoyed every moment of it, so how can you complain when you sit here right now?”