Dayne Zorko has cemented his position as an all-time great of Queensland football by joining Lions Legend Michael Voss as a five-time club champion.
The skipper could argue his fifth Merrett-Murray medal was the most cherished of the lot as it came in a season where he steered the Lions to the third consecutive top four finish at the end of the 2021 home and away season.
Zorko polled 340 votes for a standout season in which he recorded career high numbers for kicks per game while maintaining his lofty standards as one of the AFL’s best pressure players.
It was how he used the ball that really defined his superb performances, as he finished the season ranked in the top five in the AFL for inside fifties, goal assists, score involvements as well as pressure acts.
And just to add another bit of silverware to the haul he was also honoured with the covered Players Player of the Year Award.
In front of 540 guests at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, Zorko received the award from Brisbane Bears legend Roger Merrett, Lions chairman Andrew Wellington and Senior Coach Chris Fagan.
The medal’s other namesake, Fitzroy Team of the Century Captain Kevin Murray, was unable to attend due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.
Hugh McCluggage won the Nigel Lappin Trophy for runner-up with 336 votes while Jarryd Lyons took home the Alastair Lynch trophy for third place with 332 votes.
McCluggage received his trophy from Defensive Coach Murray Davis while Midfield Coach Ben Hudson made the presentation to McCluggage.
Last year’s Rookie of the Year Brandon Starcevich continued his meteoric rise with his first top ten finish, coming fourth in the voting while All Australian Daniel Rich rounded out the top five.
How the voting system works:
Senior Coach Chris Fagan and the five Assistant Senior Coaches allocate votes based on the player’s overall performance, deliverance on all team criteria and execution of the team trademark.
There is no restriction on the number of players who can receive votes.
Each coach will grade and allocate a maximum of four votes to a player. The maximum votes a player can receive in a match is 24.