Dayne Zorko will captain the Lions for the second straight season. Picture: AAP
Dayne Zorko will captain the Lions for the second straight season. Picture: AAP

More the merrier as Zorko gets nod again

DAYNE Zorko will spearhead a bumper Brisbane leadership group in 2020 after being voted Lions captain by his teammates for the second straight season.

Brisbane has expanded its leadership group to nine players in 2020 with Zorko and vice-captain Harris Andrews joined by Darcy Gardiner, Stefan Martin, Lachie Neale, Ryan Lester, Jarrod Berry and new members - Jarryd Lyons and Hugh McCluggage.

Brisbane's board rubber-stamped the nine-man pride on Monday night.

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Zorko - a four-time club champion and 2017 All-Australian - led Brisbane to the finals in his first full season in the role last year after taking the reins from Dayne Beams midway through the 2018 campaign.

He said the size of the leadership group was testament to the maturity of Brisbane's list and was honoured to get the nod from his peers again.

"It's really important to have as many on-field leaders as possible. These guys have shown some really strong leadership qualities over the past few years and they've been rewarded with a spot in this group,'' Zorko said.

"Our young emerging players can learn a lot from these guys. It would be foolish not to use their experience.

"To be captain of this football club is something I'm extremely proud of. It's great to know that my teammates see me as their leader and I don't want to let them down.

"I want to do everything right and set a really strong example again this year.''

Brisbane Lions leadership group for 2020: Hugh McCluggage, Jarryd Lyons, Darcy Gardiner, Harris Andrews Dayne Zorko (captain), Stefan Martin, Ryan Lester, Lachie Neale and Jarrod Berry. Picture: Adam Head
Brisbane Lions leadership group for 2020: Hugh McCluggage, Jarryd Lyons, Darcy Gardiner, Harris Andrews Dayne Zorko (captain), Stefan Martin, Ryan Lester, Lachie Neale and Jarrod Berry. Picture: Adam Head

Allen Christensen stepped away from the leadership group as he makes his way back from minor back surgery last year.

Lyons and McCluggage have never been a part of a leadership group at AFL level.

The promotion underlines the remarkable career comeback for Lyons who was delisted by the Suns at the end of 2018.

He was outstanding for the Lions in 2019, averaging 24 possessions and six tackles per game to finish fourth in the best-and-fairest count.

McCluggage's elevation is another step in the steady rise of the young midfield star who was pick No.3 in the 2016 draft and was knocking on the door of All-Australian honours last season.

Brisbane General Manager of Football David Noble said the nine men selected for the group, including the two new additions, had been outstanding leaders on and off the field.

"Each of the nine leaders offer something different to the group, which is what makes them stronger as a unit," Noble said.

"Hugh and Jarryd are fantastic additions and have already displayed strong leadership by their actions on field.''