Brisbane captain Dayne Zorko will take to the field on Saturday for the AFL’s season resumption with a deeper knowledge of his Lions teammates.
Zorko consciously made an effort to connect with his players during the COVID-19 suspension to the season.
It’s an effort that he feels has really paid off ahead of Saturday’s round two match against Fremantle at the Gabba.
“It’s normally a text but I’ve really tried to (catch up) over phone calls this time and I feel as though I’ve been able to talk to all of our players in different ways and learn a lot more about them,” Zorko said.
“Only being able to train in a pair … you get to know the players on a much deeper level and talk a lot more things that’s just not football.
“So I’ve actually enjoyed that and hopefully that translates out on the field, which I’ve no doubt it will.”
For all their good form last year, the Lions’ round one loss to Hawthorn at the MCG has been a painful memory for Zorko throughout the break.
After back-to-back defeats in the finals last year, Zorko said the 28-point loss to the Hawks hadn’t been forgotten in the chaos of the coronavirus crisis.
“We’ve looked at that pretty thoroughly. We looked at it last week as well,” he said.
“It just wasn’t us and this isn’t the way we play our football.
“I’ve been really impressed with how the guys trained over the past fortnight in executing our game plan to what it was last year.”
Zorko confirmed Cam Rayner appeared to have overcome knee soreness after training strongly on Thursday while Lions chief executive Greg Swann revealed Jarrod Berry’s younger brother Tom will make his AFL debut against the Dockers.