Captain Dayne Zorko said his decision to extend with the Brisbane Lions until at least the end of 2021 was a matter of loyalty.
“Brisbane gave me the opportunity back when I was 21, so I really wanted to repay them,” Zorko said.
2019 will be the 30-year-old’s eighth season with the Lions. He arrived in late 2011 after being knocked back at three AFL National Drafts.
The energetic midfielder has since gone on to win four straight Merrett-Murray Medals as the Lions’ Club Champion and in 2017 was named an All Australian.
Earlier this month he became the 57th person to Captain the Brisbane Lions in the Club’s 133 year combined VFL/AFL history.
“The Club’s given me great opportunities throughout the last eight years,” he said.
“You’ve got that sense that there’s good times ahead and I certainly want to be a part of it.
“In the past eighteen months the Club has set up some more stability and grown our playing list with some really great players.”
The Lions General Manager of Football David Noble said he is invaluable as a leader.
“I’ve seen Dayne take responsibility for his own growth as a leader over the past two years and is committed to improving others as a leader”, Noble said.
“He is a person that wants to improve as a leader with his key strength in one-on-one situations.
“Dayne can see the direction the Club wants to head in and he is a great influence for the entire playing group in setting the tone.”
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Senior Coach Chris Fagan said Zorko has been a joy to coach as they move into their third season working together.
“First and foremost it’s his passion for the game,” Fagan said.
“He loves the game and he loves the Lions.
“He loves his teammates and it shows in the way he plays.
“The thing I always get excited about most is he is one of the best defensive players in the competition. He’s always willing to lay a tackle and apply some pressure.
“For us, that is of incredible value in that area and it’s fantastic that he’s signed again.”
Zorko will run out for the first time this year on Sunday afternoon, when the Lions meet Hawthorn in Week One of the JLT Community Series.
“I am very excited and there’s certainly been some hype around the football Club this year,” he said.
“We have a couple of JLT games now, which we really need to knuckle down for.”