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Zorko in good shape

It's hard to believe that Dayne Zorko is approaching just his third AFL season

8:55am  Feb 27, 2014

Zorko delights Leppitsch

Lions coach says Dayne Zorko's pre-season has set the standard

10:11am  Feb 13, 2014

Great Dayne stars onball

Dayne Zorko shines in a midfield role in a Lions practice match

1:59pm  Feb 6, 2014

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15

Dayne
Zorko

Height
174 cm
DOB
09-02-1989
Weight
78 kg
Debut
2012
Games
2014
5
Career
43
Goals
2014
2
Career
44
2014 AFL Fantasy Points
Total
463
Avg
93
DayneZorko

Player Bio

At a Glance

Junior Clubs: Surfers Paradise (QLD)
Clubs: Brisbane Lions
Debut: Rd 7 2012
Recruited from: Broadbeach (QLD)
Brownlow Votes: 6

Introduction

A quick and gutsy midfielder, Dayne Zorko dominated the local Queensland competition for a number of years before getting his chance at an AFL career. He has since made an immediate impact at the elite level, displaying the pace, skill and determination to run through the middle, or even provide an effective small forward option.

Background

• Originally from Surfers Paradise, Zorko Captained Queensland's U18 side in 2007, but was overlooked at the AFL National Draft.

• He joined Broadbeach's senior QAFL side as an 18 year-old and made an immediate impact with the Cats by winning the Club's Best & Fairest award.

• He went on to win four successive Broadbeach Best & Fairest awards and Captain Queensland's U21 side - but repeatedly failed in his attempt to find his way onto an AFL list.

• But an outstanding season in the NEAFL, which culminated in him winning the 2011 Syd Guildford Trophy as the Football Record Player of the Year, put Zorko back on the AFL recruiters' radar.

• Arguably most significant was his brilliant four-goal performance in Queensland’s narrow loss to Western Australia which also netted him the Zane Taylor Medal as best afield.

• He also finished just one vote shy of securing the 2011 Grogan Medal - which incidentally, was his third top 10 finish in the competition's highest individual honour across the past four seasons.

• Zorko was eventually snapped up by the Gold Coast SUNS as a Queensland Priority Selection, before then being on-traded to the Brisbane Lions in exchange for Pick No.34 in the 2011 AFL National Draft.

Season by Season

Season by Season

• Fresh from a standout debut season, Zorko showed no signs of the 'second year blues' when he produced a standout NAB Cup campaign. Not only did he help guide the Lions to a breakthrough pre-season premiership, but he also nearly claimed the Michael Tuck Medal as the best on ground in the Grand Final triumph over Carlton (he was eventually edged out by teammate Daniel Rich). 

• He went on to play in all 22 of the Lions' senior matches in 2013 (one of only four players to do so) and kick the second most goals at the Club (26) - just two shy of Jonathan Brown. 

• Although his scoreboard impact was far greater in 2013, Zorko's average number of possessions, tackles and inside 50s dropped from his stellar debut season. 

• He still produced some big individual efforts, including a 29-disposal and three-goal performance against Melbourne in Round 5 at the Gabba. 

• His value to the team was rewarded when he finished equal 4th in the Club Champion award alongside Tom Rockliff - bettering his equal 7th position from his debut year.

• Zorko was also named in Queensland's Team of the Year for the second consecutive season.

• Zorko’s first ever AFL pre-season was hampered by a hip flexor injury which required the 23-year-old to travel to Perth for treatment, before pulling on the Lions colours for the first time in Round 5 for the Reserves.

• After two dominant displays in the NEAFL to build his match fitness, Zorko was rewarded with a senior berth against Collingwood in Round 7 – and the rest is history.

• After starting as the substitute against Collingwood, Zorko kicked his first goal against GWS in Round 8.

• But it was his performances in the next four weeks, where he averaged 21 possessions, laid 30 tackles and kicked five goals, that really made the AFL community sit up and take notice.

• Zorko went on to become a cult figure among fans, teammates and the media alike – with respected commentators Dennis Cometti and Brian Taylor dubbing him “Zorko the Magician” and “The Zork” within just a few games.

• Rarely has a first-year player been so influential, with coach Michael Voss describing him as “a player that lifts the rest of the team”.

• He played a total of 16 games in 2012, with an average 20 disposals, an average 6 tackles (second only to Jack Redden at the Club), and a total of 16 goals for the year.

• Zorko’s achievement was so great that when it came time to award the Rookie of the Year award at the annual Club Champion Dinner, the match committee sought board approval so that Zorko (who, under the original rules was too young to win the award at age 23), could claim the award that he so thoroughly deserved.

• He also finished the year with a remarkable 6 Brownlow Votes – the Club’s equal second with Simon Black and Jack Redden.

Stats

By the numbers

  • 2014 Season Average
    Games Played 5
    • Kicks 11.8
    • Handballs 13.4
    • Disposals 25.2
    • Marks 3.4
    • Hit-Outs 0.4
    • Tackles 5.0
    • Goals 0.4
    • AFL Fantasy 92.6

2014 Highlights

Statistics Best Opponent Round
Kicks 17 Geelong Cats Rd 2
Handballs 18 Richmond Rd 5
Disposals 30 Geelong Cats Rd 2
Marks 6 Richmond Rd 5
Hit-outs 2 Richmond Rd 5
Tackles 8 Geelong Cats Rd 2
Goals 1 Port Adelaide Rd 4
AFL Fantasy 130 Geelong Cats Rd 2
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By the numbers

  • Career Average
    Games Played 43
    • Kicks 9.8
    • Handballs 8.2
    • Disposals 18.0
    • Marks 3.4
    • Hit-Outs 0.1
    • Tackles 5.7
    • Goals 1.0
    • AFL Fantasy 83.8

Career Highlights

Statistics Best Opponent Round
Kicks 18 Hawthorn Rd 12, 2012
Handballs 18 Richmond Rd 5, 2014
Disposals 31 Sydney Swans Rd 15, 2012
Marks 10 Sydney Swans Rd 15, 2012
Hit-outs 2 Richmond Rd 5, 2014
Tackles 9 West Coast Eagles Rd 7, 2013
Goals 3 Gold Coast Suns Rd 15, 2013
AFL Fantasy 140 Sydney Swans Rd 15, 2012

Career Breakdown

Season Club K H D M HO FF FA T G B AF
2014 Brisbane Lions 59 67 126 17 2 5 8 25 2 6 463
2013 Brisbane Lions 193 139 332 57 2 24 27 117 26 27 1624
2012 Brisbane Lions 168 146 314 74 2 18 15 103 16 14 1515

Legend

K
Kicks
H
Handballs
D
Disposals
M
Marks
HO
Hit-outs
FF
Frees For
FA
Frees Against
T
Tackles
G
Goals
B
Behinds
AF
AFL Fantasy points

Milestones

AFL Brisbane Lions: 16 games, 16 goals

Awards

Club Awards

Lions Rookie of the Year
2012

Lions Pre-Season Premiership Player
2013

Lions Second Leading Goal-Kicker
2013

Equal 4th Lions Club Champion
2013

Other Awards

Queensland U18 Captain
2007

Broadbeach Best and Fairest
2008-2011

Queensland U21 Captain
2009

Queensland State Representative
2010, 2011

Broadbeach Captain
2010-2011

NEAFL Team of the Year
2011

Runner-Up Grogan Medal
2011

Zane Taylor Medal
2011

Syd Guildford Trophy
2011

Queensland Team of the Year
2012, 2013