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Zorko's overlooked stat

By definition a goal assist in AFL football is: 'creating a goal by getting the ball to a teammate either via a disposal, knock-on, ground kick or hit-out, or by winning a free kick before the advantage is paid to the goal scorer'. 

It’s an understated and underrated AFL statistic, but by its very meaning identifies a team-first mentality, and an unselfishness that is a trademark of all winning teams.

So when Chris Fagan scoured the Brisbane Lions' statistics sheet after last Saturday’s win over Carlton and saw a ‘five’ in the GA column for Captain Dayne Zorko he would have been particularly pleased.

It is precisely what Fagan would have wanted from his skipper.

Amid the 'stats-fest' that the win over the Blues created, this effort from the triple Merrett-Murray Medallist slipped under the radar in match reports but the AFL statistics and the Club history books say it was very special.

The League leaders in GAs this year are Richmond’s Shane Edwards (22), GWS’s Dylan Shiel (21), Melbourne’s Jake Melksham (20), Geelong’s Tom Hawkins (16) and Hawthorn’s Luke Breust (15). Yet not one of these players have had more than three GAs in a game.

Five GAs is not just a career-best for Zorko in his 137 AFL games, but would be a career-best for every member of the current Brisbane playing list.

And since the GA statistic was introduced to the AFL in 2003 only two Lions players have ever had more than five goal assists in a game: Jonathan Brown (7) in 2007 and Jason Akermanis (6) in 2004.

Simon Black leads the Club all-time in GAs at 173 from Luke Power (151) and Brown (144).

Zorko, thriving on the captaincy as he combats a hot focus from opposition taggers this season, has 99 GAs and is set to become the fourth Lions player to post his GA century this week.

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs