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Dayne Zorko

#15   Brisbane Lions
Age: 35yr 4mth    Games: 262     Born: February 9, 1989     Origin: Broadbeach
Height: 175cm     Weight: 77kg     Position: Midfield, Forward
Supercoach Price: $593,700   Supercoach Profile
AFL Fantasy Price: $998,000   AFL Fantasy Profile
Contract Status: UFA at the end of 2024   AFL Player Contracts
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Dayne Zorko Biography

Thursday, 11 April 2024
Dayne Zorko says he will speak to Noah Answerth after the defender taunted Melbourne forward Harrison Petty during the Lions' win.

Referencing a 2022 match-up where a Zorko comment – for which he later apologised – resulted in the Demon crying on-field, Answerth rubbed his eyes at Petty as if to suggest tears.

"I'll probably go have a word with him. That's not the way we want to win," Zorko told ABC Radio post-match.

"Heat of the moment, stuff happens. I'm sure he'd have fixed it up after the game."

Wednesday, 1 November 2023
Dayne Zorko signs a one-year deal to continue his career into a 13th season in 2024 for the Lions.

"I am really happy to be going around again with a group that has so much potential and that is on the cusp of achieving something special," Zorko said.

"I feel like I am still contributing to the team in terms of my on-field performances, and I believe I have plenty to offer this group off the field through leadership and my experience."

Thursday, 3 August 2023
Touk Miller is suspended by the AFL for 'conduct unbecoming' after he was found to have made contact with the groin region of Lion Dayne Zorko that the AFL determined "caused Zorko pain and discomfort".

"We accept the AFL's decision but as a club we are extremely disappointed in the outcome," Gold Coast footy boss Wayne Campbell said.

"Touk is the captain of our football club and has built a reputation as a fair and strong leader who is admired by the entire AFL community. He is one of the most highly respected players in the competition and it's disappointing his integrity and character has been tarnished during this process."

Wednesday, 15 February 2023
Brisbane coach Chris Fagan says Dayne Zorko's decision to step down as Lions captain was two years in the making.

"We chatted two years ago, he was 32 then and I said, 'Mate, there's going to come a time when you should think about whether you want to be captain or not,'" Fagan said.

"I said, 'There's two choices, you can go on until I tap you on the shoulder or you can go until you think it's the right time to change and leave a legacy'."

Tuesday, 14 February 2023
Dayne Zorko stands down as Brisbane's captain ahead of the 2023 season.

The 34-year-old informed the club he would not take part in the leadership voting process, paving the way for a new skipper.

"Over my years as captain, I'm proud to have helped the club be more respected again amongst the AFL world and to have helped lead the charge in the successes we've had on the field. I step down at a time when the club is in really good hands and entering a new chapter," he said.

"It's something I have really, really thought about (stepping down) and wanted to do. I'm obviously coming towards the end of my career so I feel the timing is right to let the new leader find their own feet in the role. I'll be there to support them the whole way in whatever way I can."

Tuesday, 27 September 2022
Dayne Zorko signs a new contract with Brisbane to play on for a 12th season in 2023.

"The club has been building towards something really exciting the past few seasons and with that looking to continue next year, I really wanted to be a part of it," Zorko said.

"Even though I am not getting any younger, I have been really enjoying my football as we have such a great group of players and people at the club."

Saturday, 20 August 2022
An incident involving Brisbane captain Dayne Zorko is set to be investigated by the AFL after Melbourne defender Harrison Petty was left in tears at the Gabba.

An emotional Petty was surrounded by teammates at three-quarter time after what Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin described as an "inappropriate" comment about a family member.

Dayne Zorko apologises publicly for an "inappropriate comment" he made to Melbourne defender Harrison Petty during Brisbane's clash with the Lions.

Zorko was confronted on the full-time siren by a host of Demons, led by full-back Steven May, before he went over to Petty for a long conversation.

"I'm remorseful for my actions and take full responsibility for the hurt caused to Harrison, his family and the Melbourne Football Club," Zorko said in a statement.

"In reflection, I understand I need to be a better leader, and have spoken with the Club who have reinforced this."

Wednesday, 18 May 2022

Dayne Zorko kicks the goal of the round for round 9 of 2022.

Tuesday, 15 February 2022
Dayne Zorko is likely to miss both of Brisbane’s pre-season matches after having a minor procedure on his ankle.
Thursday, 18 March 2021
Dayne Zorko says his explosive speed is back after overcoming an Achilles problem that dogged him in 2020.

"It's great to get the confidence back in that area and not have any pain when I make those movements. That's really comforting for my own personal headspace," Zorko said.

"The load's in my legs now which I think is really important and I feel really confident I should get through the year hindrance free."

Saturday, 5 October 2019
Lachie Neale wins the Merrett-Murray Medal as Brisbane's club champion for 2019.

Neale led the count the entire evening and finished with 386 votes to defeat captain Dayne Zorko (348 votes), while Hugh McCluggage (322) was third.

Neale played in all 24 games, averaged 31 disposals and led the League in total clearances and contested possessions.

Thursday, 25 April 2019
Gold Coast midfielder Touk Miller describes his growing rivalry with Brisbane skipper Dayne Zorko as "personal".

Miller tagged Zorko in two heated exchanges last season, taking the points on each occasion.

Following the round five encounter, in which Miller won the Marcus Ashcroft Medal as best afield, Zorko snubbed the handshake offer extended by the young midfielder.

Then, after turning the tables with a Brisbane win in round 22, Zorko directed a verbal barrage at Miller. The pair shook hands before Zorko bizarrely continued to follow Miller around the field with his hand extended.

"He is a good player, but I reckon I got to him with my niggling, that game was close and he wasn't able to have an impact and that frustrated him," Miller said.

"The second time he definitely changed his approach and took the game on a bit more and was less worried about me.

"But we get to each other and it ends up being personal. There is a bit of feeling there and it makes for good footy. I enjoy it."

Thursday, 28 February 2019
Dayne Zorko signs a one-year contract extension with Brisbane to remain at the club until the end of 2021, and to ensure he will be a 10-year player with the Lions.
Thursday, 14 February 2019
Dayne Zorko will captain Brisbane in 2019 after the club announced an eight-man leadership group that also included recruit Lachie Neale.

Along with Neale, rugged defender Darcy Gardiner and young midfielder Jarrod Berry have been added.

They join established leaders Harris Andrews, Stefan Martin, Ryan Lester and Allen Christensen.

Thursday, 7 February 2019
Dayne Zorko set a personal best in the club's 3km time trial early in the New Year, breaking 10 minutes for the first time.

"Leaving last year as the captain, I thought it was really important that I came back in the best possible nick, if not the best shape out of everyone," Zorko said.

"I really wanted to set a strong example not only for the boys that were here, but the draftees that came in and the traded players that came in."

Saturday, 26 January 2019
Brisbane coach Chris Fagan Dayne Zorko will be a better player after a tough 2018 season where he was regularly subjected to taggers on a weekly basis.

"I think he'll be wiser for the experience," Fagan said.

"There were games last year, and from a media perspective he might have only touched the ball 16 times and not had a good game, but the one thing that never changed with him was his pressure, he's one of the best in the game.

"Sometimes when guys get tagged they give up – he doesn't."

Saturday, 1 September 2018
Dayne Zorko wins his fourth consecutive Merrett-Murray Medal, taking out Brisbane's best and fairest by a solitary vote from Dayne Beams.

Zorko polled 250 votes, edging out Beams (249) and ruckman Stefan Martin (242).

Wednesday, 22 August 2018
Brisbane coach Chris Fagan defends captain Dayne Zorko for his post-match verbal spray towards Touk Miller, and says there needs to be balance in the commentary surrounding the incident.

"I think it's really easy for all of us sitting back and observing to make those comments, it's a lot harder when you're the bloke that's copped the physical attention for two-and-a-half hours to remain composed when the siren goes," Fagan said.

"I thought it wasn't that big a deal this weekend.

"I didn't see the cameras highlight all the whacks and knocks he got from the bloke who was playing on him during the game and no one talked about that as being bad sportsmanship."

Tuesday, 21 August 2018
Dayne Zorko says he's "embarrassed" and will learn from his post-match altercation with Gold Coast's Touk Miller.

Following the Lions' four-point win, Zorko yelled expletives in Miller's face before sarcastically trying to shake his hand on multiple occasions.

"I'm probably a bit embarrassed with what happened. I'll certainly learn from that," Zorko said.

"In the heat of the moment, stuff like that is going to happen and it's important I learn from it.

"I expect myself to handle these situations a lot better now that I'm a leader of the football club."

Wednesday, 23 May 2018
Dayne Beams steps aside as Brisbane captain, indefinitely as he deals with the death of his father Phillip to cancer.

Dayne Zorko will replace Beams as captain, with Harris Andrews taking on the vice-captaincy role.

"The last three months for myself, I’m not going to lie, they’ve been bloody difficult, and I’ve experienced some really bad lows," Beams said.

"I think footy’s been hard for me because I associated football with my father. So it feels like a big chunk of my football life is missing at the moment.

"So, I just feel like I need some time to find where I belong in the game. And just find my feet again and find my love for the game again."

Thursday, 10 May 2018
Dayne Zorko says a simple change of mindset dug him out of his early-season blues with a blistering performance against Collingwood.

He spoke with Lions Brownlow medalist Simon Black, along with two players organised by coach Chris Fagan – one believed to be Hawthorn Brownlow medalist Shane Crawford – who simplified things for the 29-year-old.

"It was good for me personally to know really good players in the past have come under the same scrutiny and faced the same difficulties," Zorko said.

"I felt a bit discouraged by it all happening and they reaffirmed to me it was important to bring your effort no matter what and to treat it (being tagged) as a compliment.

"I changed my mindset and it took some pressure off my shoulders."

Sunday, 6 May 2018
Dayne Zorko returns to form with 34 disposals, 10 tackles and 4 goals in the Lions' 7-point loss to Brisbane.

Lions coach Chris Fagan says a few phone calls and words of advice from a few unnamed former midfield aces was the catalyst behind Zorko's turnaround in form.

"Sometimes it is good to hear from other people that have been through the same scenario and hear how they worked their way through it," Fagan said.

"So we thought that was a good strategy for Dayne and he embraced it and certainly got a lot out of it. Thank you to those people who helped out."

Tuesday, 1 May 2018
Dayne Zorko concedes taggers have got the better of him this season.

"It's a challenge that I haven't faced consistently in previous years, and I'm working really hard to break the tag," Zorko said.

"I've been able to string together consistent training sessions, so I feel (my form) is still there, but it's a grind and periods I just have to get through, and I'll come through out the other end."

Saturday, 28 April 2018
Brisbane Lions coach Chris Fagan has challenged his side to help Dayne Zorko shake off the taggers, after his struggling vice-captain had another quiet game against Greater Western Sydney.

Zorko had just 10 touches at Spotless Stadium as the Lions went down to GWS 10.17 (77) to 5.13 (43).

It continued a frustrating fortnight for the tough on-baller, who was accused of bad sportsmanship after last-week's Q-Clash loss to Gold Coast.

Zorko refused to shake hands with the Suns' Touk Miler, who had tagged him out of the match.

"He's getting a lot of attention at the moment," Fagan said.

"We need to become better in the midfield so that you can't just easily target one guy to slow him down."

Tuesday, 24 April 2018
Lions defender Alex Witherden says opposition players tagging Dayne Zorko may not necessarily be a bad thing for the team.

Zorko, an All Australian in 2017, is averaging just 16 disposals a game and has kicked four goals.

This is well down from his career-best season last year, where he averaged 25 touches and kicked 34 goals.

"Taking a player out like that takes a lot of the opposition's focus and that allows Hugh to get off the chain, 'Bez' (Berry) to get off the chain," Witherden said.

"They've both had a career-best amount of disposals.

"Although it looks like Zorko's impact is down, it's helping others break through and get a bit of the footy."

Tuesday, 17 April 2018
Jack Graham will miss Richmond's Anzac Day Eve clash with Melbourne after unsuccessfully challenging a one-match striking ban at the AFL Tribunal.

Graham was charged with striking after an attempted bump on Brisbane's Dayne Zorko resulted in Graham hitting Zorko high with his right arm just after the Lion had launched a clearing kick.

Wednesday, 7 February 2018
Dayne Beams will captain the Brisbane Lions for a second straight season in 2018.

Beams will be deputised by Dayne Zorko who takes the vice-captain role, while Harris Andrews has been promoted as deputy vice-captain.

Stefan Martin, Ryan Lester and Allen Christensen will remain as leaders for the club.

Friday, 1 September 2017
Dayne Zorko make it a hat-trick of Merrett-Murray Medals by winning the Brisbane Lions' best and fairest for 2017.

"This year 'Fages' (coach Chris Fagan) and the coaching staff gave me the opportunity to play in the midfield," Zorko said.

"And the more time you spend around the ball, it's only natural you're going to get more of it.

"I think taking my opportunities in front of goal (also helped)."

Thursday, 31 August 2017
Dayne Zorko earns his first All-Australian selection in 2017.

The diminutive midfielder was overlooked in four drafts before being traded by Gold Coast to the Lions at the end of 2011 and conceded he had doubts he'd reach these lofty heights.

"I think most players do when you keep getting overlooked so many times," he said.

"I just tried to continuously work on areas I need to improve my game and at that time it was speed and endurance."

Tuesday, 11 July 2017
A stunning game from Dayne Zorko for the Lions against Geelong was the second-best individual performance in a loss since 2010.

Zorko scored 37.4 in the Schick AFL Player Ratings, making it the fifth-best game in the eight seasons the ratings have been calculated.

Zorko racked up 36 disposals and gained 726m for his side.

On the scoreboard, Zorko also kicked four goals, four score assists and 11 score involvements.

His game also included 14 contested possessions, 12 tackles, 10 clearances and three smothers.

So far in 2017, of those who have lined up in at least 10 matches, Zorko ranks as the No.1 pressure player in the competition.

Dayne Zorko feels his form is closing on some of the best players in the league.

"As you start to play more games and you're in the system for a little bit longer, you kind of know what you're able to perform or bring out every week," Zorko said.

"I know what I bring to the party every week and it's kind of helped my form.

"I've still got plenty of growth areas - my game's not perfect by any means. I'm still striving to get that perfect game."

Tuesday, 28 February 2017
Dayne Beams will lead the Brisbane Lions in 2017 after being confirmed as the club's new captain, taking over from Tom Rockliff, who was named vice-captain.

Dayne Zorko is the deputy vice-captain, while Stefan Martin, Allen Christensen, Ryan Lester and Harris Andrews make up the rest of the seven-man leadership group.

"I like to think I'm an action-based leader, I lead by example," Beams said.

"I do what I say and I think the overriding thing is I'm really passionate about the football club and where it's heading.

"We've got some emerging young talent and I'm looking forward to seeing that blossom."

Wednesday, 8 February 2017
Dayne Zorko says he would love to captain the Lions, which will not be decided for another month.

"It would be a tremendous honour being a Queensland boy myself to be able to captain a great club with a great history," Zorko said.

Saturday, 3 September 2016
Dayne Zorko wins his second successive Merrett-Murray Medal with a comfortable win at the Brisbane Lions' best and fairest count.

Zorko tallied 122 votes to edge out fellow 2015 victors Mitch Robinson (110) and Stefan Martin (106).

"It's quite an honour to be joining some of the greats of the club that have won two Merrett-Murray medals," Zorko said.

"To be quite honest, I'm speechless.

"I tried to forget about the results and just go about playing my role for the team every week.

"It's just a reward for consistency throughout the year."

Thursday, 14 July 2016
Defiant Brisbane Lions vice-captain Dayne Zorko has thrown his support behind Justin Leppitsch, saying the relationship between the coach and his players has never been better.

Reports have circled the Lions in the past week suggesting that unrest between senior players and Leppitsch had forced the club to look at further football department appointments.

"Unless you're inside the four walls you don't understand what really goes on," Zorko said.

"We've got a lot of trust and a lot of belief in Leppa and he's doing a really great job at the moment.

"These rumours started to happen at this time last year as well, but I can dismiss that right now.

"Things are as strong as they've ever been at the club. The playing group stands right behind Leppa, even the senior players."

Friday, 4 March 2016
Dayne Zorko will remain a Brisbane Lion for life after signing a new four-year deal worth $2 million that will keep him at the club until the end of 2020.

Zorko was last year rumoured to have been disillusioned with the Lions, but a change of managers and a renewed focus on helping the club out of the doldrums has provided the breakthrough in contract talks.

"We've got a really good young group coming through and I really wanted to be a part of that," Zorko said.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016
Dayne Zorko is out-of contract at the end of 2016 but says he will not be leaving Brisbane.

"I'm extremely excited and happy in Brisbane," he said.

"We've got a really good young group coming through and I'd love to be a part of that. Hopefully, it'll (contract) be sorted out in the near future."

Sunday, 24 January 2016
Dayne Beams and Daniel Merrett have been appointed vice-captains of the Brisbane Lions after the struggling club issued a virtual call to arms among its most experienced campaigners.

Ex-Magpie Beams, the joint club champion in his debut season with the Lions last year, and elder statesman Merrett join deputies Dayne Zorko, Pearce Hanley and Daniel Rich in an expanded leadership group under second-year captain Tom Rockliff.

Thursday, 21 January 2016
The AFL's Multicultural Program will expand to 18 player ambassadors in 2016 and will also include two female players.

Sabrina Frederick-Traub and Darcy Vescio will be joined in promoting some of the many diverse backgrounds in Australia’s Game by Brisbane Lions Vice Captain Dayne Zorko, Geelong’s Tom Hawkins, Fremantle’s Tendai Mzundu, Gold Coast SUNS players Adam Saad and Tom Nicholls, Sydney Swan Aliir Aliir and Western Bulldogs player Jason Johannisen.

The new additions in 2016 join existing Australia Post AFL Multicultural Player Ambassadors David Zaharakis (Essendon), Stephen Coniglio (GWS GIANTS), Paul Puopolo (Hawthorn), Shem Tatupu (Hawthorn), Alipate Carlile (Port Adelaide), Jimmy Toumpas (Port Adelaide), Bachar Houli (Richmond), Nic Naitanui (West Coast) and Lin Jong (Western Bulldogs).

“The expanded list of 18 ambassadors, representing 13 AFL Clubs and two female Clubs, will play a crucial role in raising cultural understanding, inclusion and participation at all levels of Australian Football,” AFL General Manager Game and Market Development Simon Lethlean said.

Saturday, 12 September 2015
Four players tie for the Merrett-Murray Medal as the Brisbane Lions' best and fairest in 2015.

Dayne Beams, Stefan Martin, Mitch Robinson and Dayne Zorko were named joint winners at the Club Champion awards dinner after polling 130 votes each.

Friday, 21 August 2015
Brisbane Lions leaders Tom Rockliff and Dayne Zorko have denied there is a rift between the pair.

Rockliff said that he and Zorko were "close mates" following reports on The Footy Show claiming they were feuding.

Rockliff, the Lions' captain, said it was laughable.

"Leppa (coach Justin Leppitsch) tells us that it's the tough times that are the making of footy clubs," Rockliff said.

"I totally agree with that, and despite a lot of the rumours that fly around at this time of the year, be assured that we are a tight group with a common goal."

Monday, 13 April 2015
Dayne Zorko is scathing of his teammates after the Lions opened their 2015 season with two straight losses.

"Blokes who aren't prepared to play their role for the team," Zorko said of the number of issues with the team.

"Boys not bringing their pressure around the contest. There was a number of things there we set ourselves to win on the night, and we didn't even win one.

"It's extremely disappointing that we can't follow simple instructions and do what the coaches require.

"A lot of guys are in the side to pressure – blokes aren't prepared to pressure.

"Blokes are in the side to win contested ball, they're not winning contested ball.

"It's a whole-team effort, it's a team game, and at the moment we're not buying into it and we're not playing as a family that we pride ourselves on."

Saturday, 6 September 2014
Tom Rockliff has capped a brilliant season, taking out his second Merrett-Murray Medal as the club's best and fairest player on Friday night.

Rockliff (138 votes) won a close count from midfield livewire Dayne Zorko (134) and reigning two-time winner Joel Patfull (121).

Tuesday, 3 September 2013
The official AFL player ratings show Dayne Zorko to be the most improved player in 2013.
Wednesday, 19 June 2013
Matthew Leuenberger and Dayne Zorko ink new deals with the Lions that will keep them at Brisbane until the end of 2015 and 2016 respectively.

"It's a significant show of faith by these young men in the club's directions as well as fantastic news for our members and supporters," Lions general manager of football operations Dean Warren said.

Sunday, 5 May 2013
Dayne Zorko is surprised at being tagged in games but says he is getting better at dealing with the extra attention from the opposition.

"If you go in with the mindset that you've got a person on you tagging you the whole game it could get in your head a bit," Zorko said.

"The last few weeks I've put that behind me and I've welcomed the attention I'm probably going to get and I've just worked through it during the game and asked teammates for a little bit of help and it's probably worked the last few weeks."

Friday, 12 April 2013
Gold Coast coach Guy McKenna says the club was justified in on-trading Dayne Zorko after he was recruited by the Suns in 2011 as a Queensland zone selection.

"We interviewed him, we looked at him, we thought our squad going forward was going to have better players," McKenna said.

"We're still of that opinion. He's done very well for Brisbane and good luck to him."

Wednesday, 27 February 2013
Dayne Zorko says he is excited at being elevated to the Lions' leadership group.

"I was speechless when I got told. It's great to see my peers think that of me," Zorko said.

"I cannot believe it. I love my teammates so much. It's so good coming into an environment like the Brisbane Lions every day.

"I'm just so grateful for the opportunity they've given me [and] could not be happier where I am."

Thursday, 19 July 2012
After growing up on the Gold Coast and being drafted by Gold Coast, Dayne Zorko could have been a Suns player, but this week he will play for their local rivals the Brisbane Lions againt them.

"I guess I would have liked to have perhaps got the opportunity at Gold Coast, but I didn't, and I'm very happy with the Brisbane Lions," Zorko said.

"I've loved every minute of it so far and it's a place I want to stay. I'll be up for the game, there's no doubt about that."

Sunday, 1 July 2012
Boom Lions recruit Dayne Zorko denies it was a poor attitude that delayed his shot at an AFL career but rather, his lack of height.

"I thought all of it was to do with my height," Zorko said.

"But from what I'm hearing from commentators it's been other stuff like attitude.

"I had no idea that was ever a problem. People were sending me messages saying, 'What are the commentators talking about?'. I haven't really got an answer for them. I'm not quite sure what that's about. I wouldn't have a clue.

"What I was told was it was my height and whether I was going to be fast enough. That was from scouts and recruiters."

Wednesday, 23 May 2012
After overcoming a nagging groin injury, Brisbane Lion Dayne Zorko is finally getting opportunities at AFL level.

"It was definitely challenging. I hadn't really had an injury at all in my career until then so it was a little frustrating but I had the full support of everyone here and it's very rewarding now that I'm playing," Zorko said.

"I was just thinking the other day if it had happened at Broadbeach I might not have been able to play this year at all. It's definitely comforting - you've got the best guys in Queensland working on you every day."

Saturday, 12 May 2012
Dayne Zorko makes his AFL debut for Brisbane at the Gabba with 8 disposals (2 kicks and 6 handballs), a mark and 2 tackles in a 58-point loss to Collingwood.
Thursday, 20 October 2011
Dayne Zorko finally gets a chance to play AFL football with the Brisbane Lions after being overlooked for the last four seasons.

"I guess the hard work has finally paid off," Zorko said.

"I'm really excited and thankful to the Lions for giving me an opportunity. I couldn't be happier. It's something I've always dreamed of and now that dream has come true."

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