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Player Reviews: Part 3

September 15, 2016 5:23 PM

AFL 2016 Rd 09 - Melbourne v Brisbane

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 22: Pearce Hanley of the Lions in action during the 2016 AFL Round 09 match between the Melbourne Demons and the Brisbane Lions at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on May 22, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media)

While 2016 was a disappointing season overall for the Lions, with just three wins and a spate of injuries, some young cubs showed plenty of promise in their development, while some older Lions stood up to be counted.

Today lions.com.au brings you the next part of the player review series. This time, for players with guernsey numbers 11-15.

#11 Pearce Hanley

Pearce Hanley was one of two players to play all 22 games for the Lions this season. He amassed an average of 21.2 disposals, 9 handballs and 12.2 kicks. The agile Irishman has proved over his career that he is a highly damaging off half-back and through the midfield, however 2016 was unfortunately short of his standard.

Coach’s notes:

Pearce Hanley played every game in 2016 and finished 4th in the fairest and best. It probably wasn’t his greatest season in his own words but he kicked 14 goals for the season had 78 inside 50’s, 466 possessions, playing mainly through the midfield. The games we won especially the Gold Coast one he was probably the most important player and won the Marcus Ashcroft trophy for best on ground. He’s another one who probably needs a big preseason of running so that he can get his endurance up and hopefully he can have an outstanding season 2017 for the Club.

#12 Stefan Martin

Stefan Martin claimed the Alastair Lynch Trophy for 3rd place at this year’s Club Champion. While the hard working big man’s season was down on his Merrett-Murray winning 2015 season, he continued to impress throughout the year despite a number of injuries and setbacks including a head knock that made global headlines in Round 4 against the Gold Coast Suns. Martin surprised with a return the very next week. He amassed a career-high 51 hit outs in Round 7 against Port Adelaide, and averaged 16.8 disposals, 7.5 kicks and 27.9 hit outs across the season.

Coach’s notes:

Stef Martin finished 3rd in the 2016 best and fairest. He played 20 games for the season had 558 hit outs (7th in the AFL in number of hit-outs), had 81 marks around the ground. He’s one who again in his own words didn’t have an outstanding year but the games he did play well and Brisbane played well, he had an impact for us. Again he was dogged by injury. He recently had an operation in the off-season so hopefully can come back and have another big preseason for us. He was hampered through his training this year and didn’t spend much time on the training track, so for Stef to finish 3rd in our Merrett-Murray Medal this year off the back of that was a very good effort.

Stef Martin in 2016
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#13 Trent West

2016 proved to be a challenging year for Trent West who was held back by injury and the demands of recovery, which led West to call time on his career in August. The premiership winning ruckman arrived from Geelong in 2013, and the following year ruptured his ACL and from then on was never able to get the best out of his body. He managed four senior games this season but still felt hampered by his knee.

Coach’s notes:

Trent West played four games for the Club this year. He’s been a terrific servant for the Club, announcing his retirement at the end of the year. When he came into the side he had an impact around the ground and was able to give the boys first use through his hit-outs. He had 82 hit outs in his four games, an average of 20 a game. He had 8 tackles, 36 possessions, took 9 marks around the ground. A terrific career for him, a premiership player at Geelong – job well done.

#14 Josh Walker

Josh Walker arrived from the Cats in November. The 24-year-old was the Lions’ equal leading goal kicker. Walker proved his capability in the ruck, pinch-hitting for Stefan Martin when the fellow big-man went down with injury in Round 4. Walker spent some time in the reserves in the middle of the season but returned to the senior side in Round 13 and finished off the year well.

Coach’s notes:

It was Josh Walker’s first season for the Club coming from Geelong. He played 16 games and kicked 23 goals for the season, kicking 4 goals on two occasions. He was the equal highest goal kicker and took the most contested marks with 21, he also played 2nd ruck for us helping Stefan Martin around the ground. 23 goals for the season in his first year at the footy club is a good result for him.

#15 Dayne Zorko

Dayne Zorko’s terrific season was rewarded with the Merrett-Murray Medal at the Lions’ Club Champion awards. It is the second time Zorko has won the Club's Fairest and Best award, after being one of four Merrett-Murray medallists in 2015. Zorko played 20 games in 2016 and celebrated his 100th match in Round 22. He averaged 23.6 disposals this season, including a season high 33 touches against Sydney. He kicked four goals in the Lions’ big loss to Collingwood in Round 8, and played one of the best halves seen by a Brisbane Lions player in recent seasons against Carlton in Round 21. Zorko was the architect of the Lions’ four-point win with a superb individual display. He finished with 27 touches, three goals, 12 inside 50s, five scoring assists and 12 contested possessions.

Coach’s notes:

Dayne Zorko was obviously our best and fairest winner. He was 1st in a lot of categories for the footy club, he had 100 inside 50’s, which is number one for the club, he was the number one tackler with 128, 2nd in disposals at 471, equal leading goal kicker with 23, leading score assist player with 30, he played mainly through the wing and had spurts on ball in the middle. He played 20 games for the season, an outstanding year by Dayne Zorko.

More Player Reviews:

  Numbers 1-5

  Numbers 6-10