Lachie Neale could step straight into Brisbane’s leadership group. Picture: Getty
Lachie Neale could step straight into Brisbane’s leadership group. Picture: Getty

Neale could step straight into Lions leadership

BRISBANE will hand its players total control of appointing a new captain as Lachie Neale looms as a potential leader in his first season at the Lions.

The Lions will wait until February before players vote on a skipper to replace Dayne Beams, to give players a chance to prove their worth over summer.

Vice-captain Dayne Zorko took over the captaincy from Beams in May after his mental health issues, with key defender Harris Andrews taking over as vice-captain.

Both will be considered as a potential captain, with ex-Fremantle midfielder Neale likely to push hard for a leadership position after being part of the Dockers leadership group for several years.

Zorko won the Lions best-and-fairest by a vote this year, his fourth year in a row as club champion, but has also had to deal with his separation from his long-term partner in a messy dispute that went public.

Lions football boss David Noble said Brisbane was in a strong position to consider captaincy candidates over the next two months.

"We won't be in a hurry, we want to give the new guys who have come in through trades and the draft a chance to get a feel for the group," he said.

"We will announce it in the lead-in to the JLT series, somewhere through February.

Dayne Zorko in action during a pre-season training session last week. Picture: Getty
Dayne Zorko in action during a pre-season training session last week. Picture: Getty

"It entirely comes down to the players. We don't interfere in that, they vote and the leadership group elects a captain and we have good discussions with the football department and then take that to the board, but we support the players' decision.

"Internally we thought Zorko went really well. He learned a lot about leadership and we were really pleased with how he managed the role.

"Harris has been in the leadership group the last two years and the indication is the players really like what he says and the way he goes about his business."

Noble said it would be interesting to see the impact some of the club's new additions had over summer.

"Neale was in the leadership group at Fremantle, Jarryd Lyons is an experienced campaigner, (Lincoln) McCarthy has been around a while, they all add something and have been around good leadership so we want to give those guys a chance to show us what their leadership capacity is like."

Brisbane is basically injury-free ahead of its mandatory three-week shutdown over Christmas, the club's No.42 draft pick Connor McFadyen the only player not running on the track.

He had an ankle operation post-season and will start running next week, with Noble thrilled with the condition of the list.

News Corp Australia


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