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Player Reviews: Part Three

October 1, 2015 9:30 AM

AFL 2015 Rd 20 - Brisbane v Carlton

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 15: Dayne Zorko of the Lions in action during the 2015 AFL round 20 match between the Brisbane Lions and the Carlton Blues at The Gabba, Brisbane, Australia on August 15, 2015. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/AFL Media)

While it was a disappointing season for the Lions, with only four wins and a spate of injuries, players on the Club's young list impressed in their development and a number of the older hands showed great leadership, consistency and commitment to the team.
Today looks at guernseys 11-15 in the third part of its series of player reviews.

#11. Pearce Hanley

Despite spending the first nine rounds on the sidelines recovering from pre-season hip surgery, Irishman Pearce Hanley made a big impact on his return to the side in Round 10. His ability to break lines and use the ball with precision, as well as his capacity to lift and lead the team, makes him one of the most damaging players on the list. A star in the midfield against the Western Bulldogs, Hanley had 35 possessions, seven clearances and booted two goals, including a smart banana snap out of a stoppage. He had another handy 33 disposals and a goal against the Swans in his 100th game, as he returned to some of the best form of his career.

#12. Stefan Martin

A winner of this year’s Merrett-Murray Medal, Martin has been regarded as one of the League’s best big men over the past 12 months, averaging 32.5 hit outs and 21 disposals from 20 matches in 2015 (missing two games due to suspension). The league’s most outstanding ruckman in Round 23, Martin was dominant both at stoppages and around the ground with 50 hit-outs and 32 possessions. He had an equal team-high eight clearances and seven inside 50s in a complete performance. His consistency across the year (playing for the majority of the season as the Lions’ sole ruckman) has earned Martin the respect of the Club and fans alike.

Read: Player Reviews: Part One

#13. Trent West

The 27-year old underwent a reconstruction to his left knee in June last year and was on track to make an early return before requiring minor knee surgery in late May which again delayed his return to the side. He played NEAFL to regain match fitness (and confidence in his knee) and returned for his first senior game since May 2014 against the Blues in Round 20 at The Gabba, where he provided a big-bodied presence in the forward line. With his injury behind him, West will be hoping to make an impact in 2016.

#14. Brent Staker

31-year-old Brent Staker didn’t get the fairy-tale send-off Lions supporters hoped for when he injured his hamstring in the warm-up before the Lions’ Round 23 win against the Western Bulldogs. Before announcing his retirement in late August Staker played six games in his return to football but struggled for consistency. Off-field, however, it was a different story, where Staker’s influence was felt most amongst the young playing group.

Read: Player Reviews: Part Two

#15.  Dayne Zorko

Vice Captain Dayne Zorko’s form in the back half of the season was exceptional, earning the 26-year-old his first Merrett-Murray Medal at this year’s Club Champion awards night. The Queenslander racked up a game high 38 possessions against Adelaide, attributing a move further up the ground to getting the most out of his football. Across the season he averaged a career-best 22.95 disposals per game but wasn’t able to match his goal tally from 2013 (26), finishing the season with 18 goals.