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Who will be named the 2018 Brisbane Lions Club Champion?

${customImageCaption} - Brisbane Lions

This Saturday, September 1, the Brisbane Lions will crown their 2018 Merrett-Murray Medalist, with a host of top players in contention for the honour.

Alongside the Club's most prestigious award, a number of other awards will be presented, including the Rookie of the Year, Most Professional Player, Reserve's Best and Fairest, Trademark Player of the Year and more.

In exciting news for Lions fans, the whole night will again be live-streamed on lions.com.au, with the stream starting just after 7pm. 

Dom Fay, from the Roar Deal podcast, will host the live-stream and exclusively interview a number of special guests and award winners throughout the night.

Who will be named Club Champion in 2018?

A number of players could be in contention for the Merrett-Murray Medal. 

Since stepping down from his captaincy role earlier this season, Dayne Beams has produced some outstanding performances.

He polled the highest possible number of Coaches Votes in three games, was awarded the Marcus Ashcroft Medal for his best on ground performance against Gold Coast in Round 22 and was named in the All Australian squad.

While ruckmen are not often recognised amongst a team's best performers, Stef Martin has been enormous for the Lions in 2018.

Martin has played every game this season and is recognised as one of the League's top-five ruckmen based on AFL rating points. During Round 3 against Port Adelaide, Martin was instrumental, collecting a season-high 30 disposals and seven tackles.

Darcy Gardiner has been outstanding for the Lions' backline, despite missing the last two games due to a shoulder injury. Gardiner produced the best game of his career during Round 16 against Carlton when he collected career-high statistics with 15 marks and 27 disposals.

Vice-Captain Harris Andrews showed outstanding growth this season, collecting a record number of one-percenters when he made 23 spoils in Round 10. Despite the great statistics, his chances of taking the Lions' main award may have been jeopardised by a severe concussion which saw him miss four matches in the back half of the season.

It's also been a big year for Dayne Zorko, who took over the captaincy role from Beams earlier this season. 

While Zorko struggled to break opposition tags during the earlier rounds of 2018, he recovered to produce several influential performances. While most of his numbers are down on last year, his pressure and work ethic around the ground should see him poll highly again. 

And who knows, maybe a young gun like Alex Witherden, Jarrod Berry or Hugh McCluggage could surprise?

History of the Club Champion Awards

If Zorko is to win the Merrett-Murray Medal again, it would be his fourth successive best and fairest award, becoming the second person in the Club's entire history to do so. 

The only other player to have reached such an achievement is Fitzroy legend Kevin Murray, who won five straight from 1960-64. 

Meanwhile, Beams and Martin could become multiple winners of the Club Champion award and would stand amongst 27 previous Club players who have won the Best and Fairest award multiple times.

2017 Brisbane Lions Club Champion Award Winners

Club Champion: Merrett-Murray Medallist Dayne Zorko
Nigel Lappin Trophy - Runner Up Dayne Beams 
Alastair Lynch Trophy - Third place Tom Rockliff
Rookie of the Year Eric Hipwood
Marcus Ashcroft Most Professional Player Award Harris Andrews
Shaun Hart Trademark Player of the Year Award Nick Robertson
Players' Player of the Year Tom Rockliff
Neville Fallon Brisbane Lions Reserves Best and Fairest Oscar McInerney
Hyundai Club Player of the Year  Dayne Zorko

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