How the Bulldogs helped shape Lions stalwart
IT WAS an offer too good for Jed Adcock to refuse.
Less than a year after he had been told his playing days at Brisbane were over he was being invited back as a coach.
After hanging up the boots once and for all after a final season with the Bulldogs, the 213-gamer admits he jumped at the chance to be a part of the Lions' new off-field team as an assistant under head coach Chris Fagan and football manager David Noble.
It was a chance to try to help resurrect the flagging club where he spent more than a decade.
"When I spoke at the best and fairest in 2015 I said it would be nice to come back and I knew the club would always welcome me back," he told News Regional Media.
"I just don't think anyone actually thought it would be so soon."
After discussions with Fagan's predecessor, Justin Leppitsch, Adcock had packed up his entire life and with his wife and two young children headed to Whitten Oval, where the Bulldogs were keen on his leadership qualities.
"At that stage we didn't leave here thinking it would be an 11-month trip to Melbourne," he said. "It's funny how things turn out.
"But I spoke to Fages and Nobes and they were keen to get me back. It was an easy decision."
Adcock admitted it felt a "little surreal" walking back through the doors at the Gabba.
"It was different, but it was also home," he said.
Adcock brought with him the experience of being involved in a magical year at the Bulldogs under coach Luke Beveridge.
Talk about right time, right place, with the club breaking a 62-year premiership drought.
Adcock only added seven senior games, the last in round 19, but still felt part of the success. And he was a member of the Dogs' VFL flag.
"It was just nice for me to experience a different environment, see how a different club goes about things on and off the field ... especially for a player who wants to get into coaching," the 31-year-old said.
"Bevo and the Bulldogs were terrific for my development. You couldn't have chosen a better team to go to with the year they had ... and the way they changed the game a little bit."
Quick ball movement, particularly by hand, was a feature of the Dogs' attacking style now being employed by the Lions.
"But I'd imagine most clubs are doing the same thing," he said. "Some clubs are doing it better than others at the moment.
"There's obviously some different ideas in terms of game plans (since the previous Lions regime).
"You'd hope that the fans are starting to see we're playing a little bit differently than we have in the past."
Adcock has total faith in Fagan and what he can achieve in Brisbane.
"The fundamentals of the coach are still based around the relationship, being able to communicate, being able to teach," he said.
"Fages does that really well. He has a teaching background. He's obviously been in the game a long time, and been at a very successful club (Hawthorn).
"He knows the best way to get inside the players' heads and understand what they are thinking and feeling."
Adcock has also been impressed by the attitude of the players, especially those in their first and second year.
"It's a real pleasure knowing you're going to get effort and intensity and passion every session," he said. "And that's so far translated into the games.
"The first and second-yearers, the work ethic that they've got, the want to compete week in, week out, it's a credit to the players themselves and a credit to our recruiters who did the work and found some really good kids."
Adcock still has a soft spot for the Bulldogs and wishes them the best - but just not today, when they host the Lions at Etihad Stadium.
"I've got some really fond memories, even though it was only a year," he said.
Well, 11 months.