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Four Merrett-Murray Medals in a row for Zorko

2018 Club Champion Dayne Zorko has taken our his fourth successive Club Champion award.

Brisbane Lions Captain Dayne Zorko has become the second man in Club history to win four consecutive Club Champion awards, after he was presented with the Merrett-Murray Medal in Brisbane tonight.

The only other person to achieve such a feat was Kevin Murray, who won five straight from 1960-64.

Murray was there to present Zorko his Merrett-Murray Medal in person, alongside Roger Merrett and Lions Chairman Andrew Wellington.

The count was one of the closest recorded in Club history, with Zorko winning by just a single vote over former captain Dayne Beams.

Zorko polled 250 votes, while Beams finished second with 249. Ruckman Stefan Martin closely followed in third place with 242 votes.

Defenders Darcy Gardiner and Harris Andrews rounded out the top five. 

“The Magician” played in all 22 games for the Lions this year and was promoted to the captaincy mid-season after Beams stepped down from the position. 

He averaged 21 disposals, seven tackles and one goal per game, kicking 26 for the year. The midfielder achieved a career high of 159 tackles. 

The 29-year-old’s recognition sees him sits outright seventh on the all-time Merrett-Murray Medal list behind Murray (9), John Murphy (5), Paul Roos (5), Allan Ruthven (5), Garry Wilson (5) and Michael Voss (5). He surpasses three-time winners Simon Black, Jonathan Brown, Norm Brown and Len Wigraft.  

Midfield Coach Dale Tapping presented Beams the Nigel Lappin trophy for finishing second in the Merrett-Murray Medal count. This is the second consecutive year the tenacious midfielder has been presented this award.

In 2015 Beams, Zorko, Martin and Mitch Robinson were joint Merrett-Murray Medal winners.

Backline Coach Murray Davis proudly awarded Martin the Alastair Lynch trophy for polling the third highest number of votes. Martin received this award previously in 2016. 

Top Ten in the Merrett-Murray Medal voting

Dayne Zorko - 250 votes
Dayne Beams - 249 votes
Stef Martin - 242 votes
Darcy Gardiner - 228 votes
Harris Andrews - 208 votes
Jarrod Berry - 205 votes
Hugh McCluggage - 200 votes
Luke Hodge - 185 votes
Nick Robertson - 172 votes
Alex Witherden - 170 votes

Voting procedure for Merrett-Murray Medal:

Senior Coach Chris Fagan and the Lions' Assistant Coaches allocate votes each game based on the player’s overall performance, delivery of team criteria and execution of team trademarks.

  1. There is no restriction on the number of players who can receive votes.
  1. 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.

4 Votes: Elite Performance, delivered on all team criteria and executed the team trade mark to the highest level. 

3 Votes: Outstanding Performance, delivered on all team criteria and executed the team trade mark to a high level.

2 Votes: Delivered on all team criteria and executed the team trademark & beating opponent.

1 Vote: Delivered on all team criteria and executed the team trademark, breaking even with opponent.

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