Off the Wall

At a time when the AFL is preparing to mount a well funded challenge to rugby league in South East Queensland and Western Sydney the AFL code has lost arguably the most formidable advocate it has ever had, certainly in South East Queensland.

Leigh Matthews, who resigned yesterday as Brisbane Lions coach after a decade at the helm, managed to lift the popularity of the Brisbane Lions at a time when the Brisbane Broncos were at the zenith of their success and popularity.

And while Matthews, to his considerable credit, never publicly rubbished our code, his departure from the coaching ranks is going to make the AFL