Dayne Zorko has claimed his fifth Merrett-Murray Medal in one of the closest counts in history with just eight votes separating the top three places.
Senior Coach Chris Fagan has repeatedly spoke of the spread of contributions among the side in 2021 as they finished in the top four at the end of the home and away season for the third consecutive year.
The crowded leaderboard in the Merrett-Murray medal voting supported Fagan’s view as there was less than 100 votes between the tenth placed Linc McCarthy with 254 votes and Zorko’s winning tally of 340.
The Nigel Lappin Trophy for Runner-Up Club Champion and the Alastair Lynch Trophy for third place were decided by just four votes as Hugh McCluggage and Jarryd Lyons traded places from last year’s count.
McCluggage finished second 336 votes and Lyons was third with 332.
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 for a season that stacked up statistically among the best of his storied career.
He remains one of the most ferocious pressure players in the competition but is also all class with the ball in hand as evidenced by top five rankings among the AFL goal assists and score involvements.
He added to his haul of silverware when he was presented with the Players Player of the Year Award from last year’s winner Harris Andrews.
The other winners:
Shaun Hart Trademark Player Award went to Linc McCarthy and was presented by Jed Adcock
Last year’s winner of the award, Oscar McInerney, didn’t go home empty handed, instead he added the Marcus Ashcroft for Most Professional Player to his trophy cabinet.
Charlie Cameron lit up the post season and was a worthy recipient of the Best Finals Player Award, presented by GM of Football Danny Daly.
The Rookie of the Year was a tough category with several youngsters breaking through to make significant contributions in the senior side. Keidean Coleman got the nod and was presented with his award by strategy coach Mark Stone
The Neville Fallon award for Reserves Best and Fairest was taken home by Connor Ballenden.