Mature aged Brisbane recruit Dayne Zorko never thought he’d be a Lion – let alone one for life.
But after realising his AFL dream, Zorko is now aiming for something much more unlikely in some eyes – a Brisbane revival.
Zorko, 27, had to pinch himself after signing a four-year contract extension.
It capped a remarkable rise since the QAFL Broadbeach star was thrown an AFL lifeline by Brisbane in the 2011 Draft after he feared he had missed his window.
“Being a Lion for life is not something I expected,” Zorko said.
But the recently named Lions vice-captain believed more significant highlights were yet to come.
Zorko was last year reportedly one of many players set to ditch the underperforming Lions in search of a premiership.
However, Zorko is now certain a battling Brisbane can return to their glory days of the early 2000s – and soon – after becoming the latest Lion to put pen to paper.
Ten players have now re-signed in the past six months with Daniel Rich and Josh Green expected to follow.
A dozen of Brisbane’s first choice 22 are now signed until 2018 and beyond.
Zorko said that stability should help Brisbane complete a rapid rise similar to the likes of Port Adelaide and Western Bulldogs in recent seasons.
“Everyone wants team success, you play for grand finals,” Zorko said when asked if he had considered leaving Brisbane.
“But I am confident that this team has the potential to taste that success.
“We want to help rebuild this club.
“It was so successful in the early 2000s and there is no reason why we can’t emulate that.
“It can all change around pretty quickly.”
Zorko returns to the Lions side along with Rich, captain Tom Rockliff, Stef Martin, Pearce Hanley and Daniel Merrett for Sunday’s AFL NAB Challenge trial against St Kilda in Mackay.
Brisbane are monitoring the wet weather in Mackay and will reportedly offer to host St Kilda on Monday if showers sabotage their clash.
“Conditions there don’t look overly great for us,” Zorko said.
“But there’s a good group going up there, hopefully we can perform.”
Teams are scheduled to fly out to Mackay on Saturday.