‘Hollow feeling’ for Lions on Mad Monday
A disappointed Dayne Zorko admits Brisbane's Mad Monday celebrations came a few weeks earlier than expected but the Lions skipper won't allow their semi-final exit to dampen a sensational year for the club.
Zorko, 30, says while the pain of last week's three-point loss to GWS is lingering, the Lions' 12-month rise from 15th to second cannot be overstated.
"There's that little bit of a hollow feeling at the moment," Zorko said.
"We probably didn't expect this to have come so early but it has unfortunately and it's great our NEAFL team were winners yesterday so we get a little silverware out of the year.
"I think that's important because we can't hide the fact that we did finish second on the ladder, our NEAFL team went through undefeated so overall (it's been) a good year.
It could've been better but that wasn't the case."
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The sight of a smiling Luke Hodge on his final Mad Monday was one for the ages and while Zorko hinted "there was something in the pipeline" for Hodgey's last dance, the Brisbane captain took time to shed light on his teammate's post-playing future.
"I think it will be heavily down the lines of development," Zorko said.
"What he's been able to help bring to our football club in the teaching space has been phenomenal and whether he's on field or off field, I know whatever he does do he'll put 100 per cent into it.
"He's got such great experience in the football world and I know all our players will miss him not matter what that role might be.
"We're forever indebted to him and it's great he's going to be able to stay on next year and help us continue our pathway."
Zorko also downplayed Toby Greene's inclusion after the Giants star shrugged off a week of controversy to spearhead GWS' upset win at the Gabba.
Greene has come under further scrutiny and could miss his side's preliminary final clash with Collingwood with match review citing him for making contact with Lachie Neale's face but Zorko refused to criticise the most fined player in the AFL.
"From a player's point of view, you want to play against the best players every single week," Zorko said.
Toby is one of those players who's a star of our competition and he was able to play last week and he played a fantastic game, so credit to him for being able to put all that aside cause it would've been very tough for him.