RESTED: Josh Schache (centre) celebrates a Lions goal.
RESTED: Josh Schache (centre) celebrates a Lions goal. DAN PELED

Schache situation different from Franklin's

BRISBANE coach Chris Fagan says he would think twice about playing Josh Schache if he knew he was leaving the Lions at the end of the year.

Schache is out of contact and considering his future, with Richmond believed to be keen to poach the young key forward.

The 19-year-old will return to the club tomorrow after he was given two weeks leave to go home to Victoria.

Fagan said today he had experienced similar contract speculation about star players when he was football manager at Hawthorn. Talk Lance Franklin was leaving didn't affect his place in the team, but Fagan said the Lions are in a very different position.

"I guess if a guy decides he's going to leave your footy club and he's not going to help you into the future and you're not in the finals race, you probably have to think twice about investing games into him as opposed to another young player who's going to help your club into the future," Fagan said on Fox Sports' AFL Live.

"If you're in the finals race you pick your best team every week and give yourself the best chance to win, as I learnt at Hawthorn with Buddy and Bradley Hill."

Fagan said he wouldn't put any pressure on Schache to make a decision about his future.

"I'm not one to sit there and say, 'I want to know tomorrow or the next day', I'll let nature take it's course on that one," he said.

"He sounds like he's in good spirits, I think the break here at home has done him the world of good.

"Hopefully when he comes back tomorrow he's a happier chap than when he came home. I think it's import to look after the wellbeing of your players, he's been under a lot of pressure and we thought the best thing for him was to have a bit of a break away from the club and playing, and we think that's been a good call."

Fagan said he remained optimistic Schache would stay a Lion.

"I'm very hopeful that he'll stay, I think Brisbane has looked after him incredibly well.

"I'm not in Josh's mind and body and he might be incredibly homesick, that's something that's very difficult to stop if that's what's happening.

"I know that we've done everything as a club to help him and I know that he knows that.

I've still get a strong level of optimism that he'll stay with us."

News Corp Australia

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