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Player Reviews: Part 5

Today we're looking at players with guernsey numbers 21-25.

3:00pm  Sep 21, 2016

Gallery: Club Champion

All the best photos from our 2016 Club Champion event on Saturday 3 September, 2016.

10:35am  Sep 6, 2016

MRP: Merrett charged

Daniel Merrett can accept a two-match sanction with an early plea, after being charged with striking in his final AFL game.

3:51pm  Aug 29, 2016

Latest Player Video

Vero Fan Moment: Dan Merrett

2:30pm  Sep 8, 2016

Thanks Rog!

7:50pm  Sep 3, 2016

MRP: Merrett charged

4:05pm  Aug 29, 2016

Unassigned Content List



195 cm
103 kg
2019 AFL Fantasy Points

Player Bio

At a Glance

Junior Club: Surfers Paradise
AFL Clubs: Brisbane Lions
Debut: Rd 2 2005
Recruited from: Southport (QLD)
Brownlow Votes: 17


Gold Coast product Daniel Merrett has established himself among the toughest full-backs in the AFL competition. His speed, size, strength and devastating right fist enable him to effectively match-up on the opposition’s most dangerous forwards. Merrett himself has been known to shift forward on occasion, but is 'at home' as part of the Lions' defence.


• Merrett played predominantly touch football and volleyball during his school years on Queensland’s Gold Coast. He later helped a friend by making up numbers in a local AFL match and quickly became fond of this new sport.

• He joined Southport in the AFLQ U18 competition and after trialling a range of positions, found his niche playing in the ruck.

• He was quickly identified as a player of promise, fast-tracked into the AFLQ’s Talent Search program and represented Queensland in the U18 National Championships in 2002.

• The Lions saw great potential in Merrett and selected him as somewhat of a ‘project player’ with their second round selection (Pick No.30 overall) in the 2002 AFL National Draft.

Season By Season

Season By Season

• Merrett was missing in action for the majority of 2015, with a nasty hamstring injury forcing the talented defender and club leader to sit on the sidelines for much of the season.

• After playing in Round One, Merrett missed 13-weeks before returning in Round 15 against the Swans, where he proved himself as one of the league’s best big-bodied defenders and provided much-needed experience to the Club’s developing backline.

Season by Season

• Merrett returned to the club for the 2014 season despite being in rehabilitation for a broken ankle. Merrett sustained the injury in round 22 against the Western Bulldogs, requiring surgery that included the insertation of a plate and 10 screws. Merrett was adamant that he would be fully recovered in time for the Lion’s round 1 game of 2014.

• Following the retirement of Jonathan Brown, Justin Leppitsch was confident that Daniel Merrett could hold the fort up in attack until the club's next big forward arrived.  

• Demon’s Cam Pedersen received surgery due to a broken nose after a controversial contest with Daniel Merrett. Merrett's match-day striking report was thrown out, as it was deemed Merrett’s actions were to spoil the ball and that the contact made was accidental. 

• Whilst helping down in the forward end, Merrett kicked a potential goal of the year in round 11 in the Lion’s valued win against Carlton.

• Merrett was happy to return to the more familiar surrounds of the backline during the pre-season, and played a key role in helping deliver the Club's first pre-season premiership in more than 30 years.

• He continued to line up on the opposition's best defender each week, and even helped pinch-hit in the ruck on occasion. And although he didn't produce a great deal of hitouts, his effectiveness around the ground and at the contest was immense. 

• He was rubbed out for three weeks for a sling tackle on Essendon's Michael Hurley in Round 8, and was a late withdrawal from the team's Round 14 clash against Hawthorn at Launceston. 

• Between Rounds 15-21, Merrett was once again moved forward as the Lions struggled to find an avenue to goal. But during that eight-week period, the big Queenslander booted 14 goals and helped the Lions get six valuable wins. 

• But Merrett's season came to a premature end early in the second half of the team's Round 22 clash against the Western Bulldogs at the Gabba, when he suffered a severe ankle injury.  

• He finished the season with 17 games - which included his 150th in Round 20 against Richmond at the MCG. 

• Sporting a fashionable cast, Merrett was honoured with Life Membership at the Club's annual Club Champion dinner, having reached 150 games and more than 10 years of service.

• Merrett was moved into attack out of pure necessity at the beginning of the 2012 season as Senior Coach Michael Voss searched for another tall forward option who could pinch-hit in the ruck.

• Despite some resistance from media and fans, the move proved a successful one, with the big Queenslander kicking goals in most matches. More importantly, he provided a contest and brought the ball to ground for the smaller forwards more often than not.

• He had a day out against the GWS Giants in Round 8, booting five goals in a spectacular first quarter, before going on to finish with seven. He became only the fourth Lions player – behind Alastair Lynch, Daniel Bradshaw and Jonathan Brown – to kick seven goals at the Gabba.  

• Merrett also kicked a bag of four goals against the Bulldogs (Round 13) and kicked multiples on four other occasions.

• His performance against Gold Coast in QClash4 was also notable – he collected a season-high 24 disposals and took 10 marks at Metricon Stadium on the Gold Coast. 

• He eventually returned to the backline in Round 19 where he immediately resumed the role as the team’s ‘rock in defence’.  

• By season’s end, he had proven that he was far from a one-trick pony. He finished second on the Club’s goal-kicking tally (behind Jonathan Brown) with 26 goals – which was nine than he had kicked in total across his first nine AFL seasons.

• His all-round efforts were rewarded on Club Champion night when he finished a career-best =7th in the Merrett-Murray Medal voting. He was also named in the Queensland Team of the Year for the 6th consecutive season.

• Merrett proved a standout for the Lions throughout the first half of 2011. The burly full-back dominated opposition forwards and found plenty of the ball himself. 

• He earned five Brownlow Medal votes from the team's first four matches (all of which were losses) and shouldered much of the on-field leadership responsibilities together with Jed Adcock following the extended absence of Captain Jonathan Brown.

• The Lions' rock in defence was enjoying career-best form until scans after Round 11 revealed he had a hairline fracture in his vertebrae. The injury - which had apparently surfaced two weeks earlier - kept Merrett sidelined for the remainder of the season.

• Such was his impressive form, Merrett finished equal 9th in the Club Champion award despite playing just 10 senior matches. He also led the count at the time of his injury.

• He averaged a personal-best 14.5 disposals (clearly bettering his previous best of 11.3 disposals per game in 2009) and received a career-high six Brownlow Medal votes. 

• He was also selected as full-back in the Queensland Team of the Year for the fifth consecutive year.

• Merrett was instrumental in the Lions back line in 2010, but was unfortunately hampered by injury early in the season which affected his fitness in later games.

• He tore his hamstring in round 5 against Melbourne and was sidelined for the next six games, of which the Lions managed only one win – emphasising the importance of the big defender to the Lions side.

• In the 16 games he played, he managed 93 kicks, 177 disposals and 40 tackles.

• Merrett played his milestone 100th game in the Lions’ win over West Coast at Subiaco in round 19, making him the third player in Club’s history to achieve the milestone while wearing the number 21 guernsey.

• He was selected as full-back in the Courier Mail Queensland Team of the Year for the fourth consecutive year along with fellow Lion Josh Drummond.

• Merrett’s outstanding leadership and professionalism saw him win the Marcus Ashcroft Most Professional Player award at the Club Champion award, and rank 13th overall in the Club Champion count.


• Merrett was elevated into the Club’s Leadership Group as one of four Vice-Captains during the off-season following the Lions Football Department’s restructure. It was a fitting reward for the big Queenslander who had gradually developed into one of the team’s most respected players.

 • He took on a greater leadership responsibility both on and off the field and remained the Club's lynch-pin down back.

• His importance to the team was tested mid-season when he suffered an ankle injury against the Crows in Round 8 which sidelined him for the next four matches. It was the first time in three seasons that the Lions were without their regular full-back (he had previously played 57 consecutive matches).

• He returned in Round 13 against Melbourne and played the next nine matches until he was troubled by a hamstring injury in Round 21.

• He missed the team's Round 22 match against the Sydney Swans but was passed fit to face Carlton the following week in the Elimination Final at the Gabba - which was coincidentally Merrett's first ever Finals appearance.

• He played a total of 19 matches, averaged a career-best 11.3 disposals and finished 15th in the Club Champion award.

• Merrett was also selected in the Queensland Team of the Year for the third successive season.


• Merrett remained the rock in the Lions defence for the second straight season, playing in every match to take his consecutive games total to 47.

• He was entrusted each week by the coaching staff to shut-down the opposition’s most dangerous forward and yet again delivered. He had become noticeably more vocal on the field and developed a great understanding with his fellow defenders.

• At season’s end, he was selected in Queensland’s Team of the Year for the second consecutive season and finished 12th in the Club’s Best and Fairest award.


• Following the departure of key premiership duo Justin Leppitsch and Mal Michael in 2006, Merrett became the key to the Club’s severely depleted defensive stocks.

• Merrett became the cornerstone of the Lions’ backline and took the scalps of some of the League’s best forwards including Brendan Fevola, Fraser Gehrig, Anthony Rocca and Warren Tredrea.

• According to Champion Data, Merrett conceded only 38 goals In 22 matches – two less than All-Australian full-back Darren Glass – averaging less than two goals per match.

• After playing every match for the season, it came as no surprise that he was recognised by the Club as the winner of both the Most Improved Player and Best Defender awards.

• He completed his breakthrough season with his first ever top ten finish in the Club Champion award.


• Merrett suffered a few minor injury and form issues during the first 17 matches of the season which saw him play only four games before returning to play the final five matches in the senior team.

• He was used predominantly as a back-up ruckman or key forward, but when he struggled to kick goals was moved in defence.

• Merrett took to defence like a duck to water and earned the big jobs of St Kilda’s Nick Riewoldt and Sydney’s Barry Hall among others.

• His trial in defence was another masterstroke move from Senior Coach Leigh Matthews and effectively changed the direction of his AFL career path.


• After a carefully planned pre-season, Merrett booted five goals in the Lions’ intra-club practice match, proving that he had overcome his debilitating illness from the previous year.

• It may have taken him two full seasons, but Merrett made up for any lost time by making a memorable senior debut in Round 2 against Port Adelaide at Football Park.

• A massive dust storm just before the bounce, a centre square showdown with Matthew Primus and a near miraculous comeback meant he had plenty of reasons to remember his AFL debut.

• Playing occasionally as a back-up ruckman but mainly as a key forward, Merrett had three double-figure possession games and showed more than enough to suggest his drafting was another astute bit of business by the Lions' recruiting staff.

• On the few occasions he was squeezed back to Reserves level, he responded by kicking plenty of goals including eight in a late-April thrashing of Redland at the Gabba.

• He played 15 matches for a return of 13 goals and polled the maximum three Brownlow votes with a three-goal display against Collingwood in Round 15.


• Merrett’s fledgling career hit its first real hiccups when he was diagnosed with Glandular Fever which forced him to spend the majority of his 2004 campaign watching from the sidelines.

• Although the illness severely restricted his training capabilities, he returned to the field for the Lions Reserves side in their AFLQ Semi Final against Morningside.


• Merrett’s shone in first season of AFL, playing vital roles up forward in the Lions’ Reserves side – despite having only played Australian Rules football for less than three years total.

• While failed to make a senior appearance, his development was certainly fast-tracked towards a promising AFL career.

• He was rewarded for his efforts with the Lions Reserves side by finishing fourth overall in the AFLQ’s Grogan Medal.



By the numbers

  • 2019 Season Average
    Games Played
    • Kicks
    • Handballs
    • Disposals
    • Marks
    • Hit-Outs
    • Tackles
    • Goals
    • AFL Fantasy

2019 Highlights

Statistics Best Opponent Round
Kicks 0 - -
Handballs 0 - -
Disposals 0 - -
Marks 0 - -
Hit-outs 0 - -
Tackles 0 - -
Goals 0 - -
AFL Fantasy 0 - -

2019 Season Breakdown

Rd Opponent Result K H D M HO FF FA T G B AF
TOTAL W: 0 - L: 0

By the numbers

  • Career Average
    Games Played 200
    • Kicks 5.8
    • Handballs 4.5
    • Disposals 10.3
    • Marks 4.1
    • Hit-Outs 1.1
    • Tackles 1.7
    • Goals 0.4
    • AFL Fantasy 45.7

Career Highlights

Statistics Best Opponent Round
Kicks 17 GWS Giants Rd 8, 2012
Handballs 12 Gold Coast Suns Rd 17, 2012
Disposals 24 Gold Coast Suns Rd 17, 2012
Marks 14 St Kilda Rd 2, 2007
Hit-outs 14 North Melbourne Rd 10, 2005
Tackles 9 Geelong Cats Rd 5, 2012
Goals 7 GWS Giants Rd 8, 2012
AFL Fantasy 149 GWS Giants Rd 8, 2012

Career Breakdown

Season Club K H D M HO FF FA T G B AF


Frees For
Frees Against
AFL Fantasy points


AFL Brisbane Lions: 135 games, 43 goals


Club Awards

Lions Reserves Leading Goal-Kicker

Lions Most Improved Player

Lions Best Defender

Lions Vice-Captain

Lions Most Professional Player

Lions Second Leading Goal-Kicker

Lions Pre-Season Premiership Player

Lions Life Member

Other Awards

4th AFLQ Grogan Medal

Queensland Team of the Year