Dayne Zorko and the Lions are back in training. Picture: Getty Images
Dayne Zorko and the Lions are back in training. Picture: Getty Images

Scrap the flag? Lions skipper responds to shock call

BRISBANE Lions captain Dayne Zorko says winning this year's AFL premiership will top any team achievement previously achieved in the sport.

Zorko and the rest of the Lions squad trained in groups of eight on Monday at the Gabba as preparations for the suspended season's June 11 restart stepped up a notch.

To combat the coronavirus pandemic, the season has been reduced to 17 rounds, plus finals, with games being played over shortened quarters.

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The campaign is also set to recommence with hubs in Queensland and Victoria, with the Gold Coast to house West Coast Eagles, Fremantle, Adelaide and Port Adelaide for at least six weeks.

All of the changes led to prominent AFL commentator and identity Dennis Cometti causing a stir on Monday when he declared that there should not be team and individual honours this season.

"I can understand what's going on here but at the same time I don't think there should be a premiership or a Brownlow Medal," Cometti said, calling instead for exhibition matches to be played.

"I think they should just drop the idea of it being a competition because it's so lopsided and so strange. Nobody knows what they are doing in two weeks.

"I don't think you can have a really serious competition based on what is pretty flimsy ground."

However, Zorko said any achievement this season would hold greater significance than normal.

"If anything it's an even harder premiership to win this year," the Lions skipper said.

Dayne Zorko completes a socially distant chat with the media. Picture: Getty Images
Dayne Zorko completes a socially distant chat with the media. Picture: Getty Images

"I'm not sure how many competitions in AFL history that have had seven weeks at the start of season (where) you've gone on holiday and you've got to come back and switch on and get ready to win a premiership cup.

"I'm not sure that's ever happened before, I'm not sure it'll ever happen again, so I would say there's even more value on it in all those awards."

Zorko said the Lions squad was buzzing after being reunited.

"To get out there with seven other of the boys and go through some drills, and yell and scream and carry on like little children, it was great," he said.

"Just the energy that instantly brought inside was great, and the Gabba deck's in fantastic order as well so it was a pleasure to train out there."

Zorko was pleasantly surprised with the condition and enthusiasm of the Lions squad.

"I was a little bit worried for the interstate players. Obviously when you go home, you don't have much contact with any other players and you're pretty much just surrounded by your families, I can understand motivation levels probably wouldn't be as high," he said.

"To see those guys come back in really good shape today was really pleasing.

"There were a couple of cobwebs early with a couple of missed kicks and a couple of missed handpasses, but the energy and just the buzz around the place certainly covered their kicking errors."



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