“Leon knows the game, but more importantly he’s a really good person. Players are lining up during the week on the couch outside his office to see him, which shows he has the playing group and they really value what he’s got to say.
“At the end of the day, that will get him through. And I hope he gets the rewards he deserves.”
Power said the Lions will “always be my club” but there is only one player still on their list from his time in Brisbane, Daniel Rich, who is playing regular football.
So he feels a much stronger personal pull towards GWS, having served as co-captain in their inaugural season before joining the club’s coaching staff to oversee the development of a crop of future stars – most of whom are now hitting their stride after discovering the sort of ruthless edge Power believed they were lacking two years ago.
“I always knew they would find the level they found last weekend,” said Power, referring to the Giants’ big win over the Western Bulldogs.
“They’ve got that many good players across the board that at any time, if they get going, can be match-winners. They’ve got them on every line. They’re a massive threat and can beat anyone.”
Power said he was most impressed with the sharp progression of young midfielders Tim Taranto and Jacob Hopper, who have brilliantly filled the void left by injuries to co-captain Callan Ward and superstar Stephen Coniglio.
“I coached the midfield in Hopper’s first year. He’s a terrific young guy, he had a real appetite to learn and improve himself,” Power said.
“The challenge was when you’ve got 10, 12 blokes who can go through the middle, how do you find a lot of game time in there for a 20-year-old Jacob Hopper? It’s come through injury.
“From a really negative situation for the club, they’ve managed to get something out of it which is going to give back over the next 10 years. They’re developing into A-grade midfielders.”
Vince is a sports reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald.