Dayne Zorko believes the Brisbane Lions can emulate Port Adelaide and the Western Bulldogs by going from AFL easybeats to finals contenders in an instant.
Zorko, 27, plays his 100th game on Sunday when the Lions host Geelong at the Gabba.
The Lions are coming off a nail-biting win over Carlton – their third victory of the year – but another serious test awaits at the hands of the finals-bound Cats.
Geelong have won their past five games and are seeking to secure a top-four finish.
Longer term, Zorko reckons Brisbane are nowhere near off the pace as most would believe and that an AFL premiership is within reach before he retires.
“I can’t see any reason why we can’t do it,” Zorko told reporters on Tuesday.
“We’ve seen with the likes of Port Adelaide and the Western Bulldogs in previous years how quickly it can definitely change.
“We’ve got a lot of young kids now with quite a few games under their belt.
“They’ve got a lot of opportunity this year to really show what they’ve got and there’s been plenty of great signs, so I can’t see any reason why (a premiership) can’t happen in my time.”
Zorko said youth was not an excuse but simply the reality of Brisbane’s rebuilding efforts.
“We know as a playing group it can turn really quickly,” he said.
“Experience takes a little bit of time, but these games are only going to help fast-track those guys’ development.”
Zorko was best on ground in the Lions’ four-point triumph over the Blues, kicking three goals – including his career 100th – and helping setting up four others.
His irresistible first half ranked among the best recorded by the AFL’s official player ratings system.
“It seemed everything just fell into place in that first half, looking back on it it was scary how everything just fell in my lap,” he said.