Dayne Zorko will play a 13th season in the AFL after signing a one-year contract extension with the Brisbane Lions on Wednesday. The 34-year-old was absolutely shattered after Brisbane's loss to Collingwood in the AFL grand final, with many predicting he would hang up the boots.
But the 250-game veteran will take at least one more swing at achieving premiership success after deciding to extend his career into the 2024 season. "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 in a club statement.
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"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. After having a taste of playing in the grand final it has spurred me on to go again and I can't wait to get back to work this pre-season and prepare for an exciting 2024."
Zorko, who will be 35 at the start of next season, was an integral part of the Lions team that went within four points of winning the flag this year. He has kicked 224 goals for Brisbane since making his AFL debut in 2012.
"Dayne has worked incredibly hard over the last 12 months to make sure he continues to get the best out of himself and his football shows he has," Lions football manager Danny Daly said. "While Dayne knows he isn't getting any younger, as a club we believe he still has plenty to offer."
Zorko, who was Lions captain from 2018 to 2022, has won five club best-and-fairest awards and was an All-Australian in 2017. He shed 8kg last summer and showed no signs of slowing down this year, playing 20 games in a split role across half-forward and through the midfield. Lions fans were delighted to hear of his decision to re-sign on Wednesday.
He was one of the best for the pies on GF day. With Raynor and Hipwood
— Jaymei (@JaymeWHUFC) November 1, 2023
Congrats to both Dayne and the club. Been a spectacular career to watch this far. Can’t wait to see you hold up a cup. Hope we get 2025 outta him too. Let’s go Lions!
— greekOnort (@greekOnort) November 1, 2023
Wonderful - his leadership and passion will be a valuable acquisition.
— Ema The Rats Were Right🐀 (@25MMCC) November 1, 2023
Would have thought he may have retired
— Tim okane (@eurekagoldtim) November 1, 2023
Sydney Swans to bring Sam Reid back in rookie draft
Elsewhere on Wednesday, Sydney de-listed the injured Sam Reid but plan to keep the premiership forward at the club via the rookie draft. After missing the entire 2023 season with a hamstring injury, the 31-year-old is set to extend his long-running career by another year.
Reid has had a horror run with injuries over the last few years, missing the whole of the 2016 season and playing just one game in 2018. Out of 336 possible matches with the Swans, Reid has only featured in 181 since being drafted at pick No.38 in 2009. He has scored 183 goals.
The Swans announced on Wednesday they will bring Reid back as he bids to return to action next year, committing to re-drafting the now-delisted player in November's rookie draft. "Sam has been a fantastic servant of this club for many seasons, and when he's fit and healthy is still a very capable key target and provides great flexibility and experience to our squad," Swans general manager Charlie Gardiner said. "We have committed to taking Sam in the upcoming rookie draft, as we feel he can still play a valuable role on and off the field for us in 2024."
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