Inside the rise of Zorko the captain
DAYNE Zorko has already exhibited one characteristic of a great leader - resilience.
The Gold Coaster's rise to be the new Lions captain has been remarkable for a player overlooked in multiple drafts because clubs considered him to be too short.
It took a string of club championships with the Broadbeach Cats to force his entry into the AFL.
He is now becoming a giant of our club, sitting tied in second place with superstars Jonathan Brown and Simon Black and with three Merrett-Murray medals.
Only premiership captain Michael Voss has more.
Dayne Beams has made the right call for himself and his family to work through a difficult time in his personal life and selflessly for the club in stepping down, but you know he wouldn't have done it if he did not have total confidence in his replacement.
Zorko has shown that resilience again this season as he fought and overcame the trials of being seriously tagged for the first time in his career.
After a couple of quiet games he has burst back into the sort of electric form that earned him his first All-Australian jumper last year.
This was to be expected, known for his high standards on the training track and a hunger for information, Zorko tapped into those who had been through the same situation before, both internally at the Lions and via ex-players from other clubs
He was always an enthusiastic face of the club, clocking more school visits and media opportunities than most of his teammates.
He enjoys it and is good at it and has become an ambassador for Auskick.
But in other areas he was less suited to captaincy. His bubbly personality makes him the energy barometer for the group but in the past that has also applied when he has his down days.
Again Zorko will work with his fellow leaders to level out the highs and lows.
This year again, his leadership has gone to a new level.
When Beams decided he needed to step down, Zorko, in the space of six months, had made himself the obvious candidate.
Much credit must go to Luke Hodge, whose work with the entire leadership group has been significant.
But it is Zorko who has flourished the most and that is because he genuinely wants to be the best player and clubman he can be.
Brisbane's long-term plan I'm sure would have been for Harris Andrews to be Beams' successor.
He was identified in his first season as a future leader as he possessed professionalism and maturity beyond his years.
If Beams decides to step away permanently, the Lions may opt to elevate Andrews alongside Zorko so he can have a couple of years in the role before assuming it on his own.
Regardless, Andrews looks to be the next in line of an emerging young group that are preparing for the time when its experienced group of leaders in Beams, Zorko, Hodge and Stefan Martin call time on their careers.
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