Zorko in race for coach’s award

Dayne Zorko has charged up to equal fourth place in voting for the coveted AFL Coach’s Association Player of the Year Award.

The 28-year-old Brisbane Lions midfielder split the votes with Geelong’s Patrick Dangerfield in last Saturday’s Round 16 clash at the Gabba, with each player receiving nine votes from Chris Fagan and Chris Scott under a system whereby each coach awards votes on a 5-4-3-2-1 basis.

Zorko now has 57 votes to trail Dangerfield (81), Richmond’s Dustin Martin (73) and St.Kilda’s Seb Ross (58), and is level with West Coast’s Elliot Yeo (57).

Making up the top 10 are Geelong’s Joel Selwood (56), Hawthorn’s Tom Mitchell (54), Gold Coast’s Gary Ablett (53), Adelaide’s Rory Sloane (53) and Melbourne’s Clayton Oliver (50).

Astonishingly, in the last five games against Fremantle, Port Adelaide, GWS, Essendon and Geelong, Zorko has polled 10-10-0-10-9 votes.

The game in which he did not poll a vote was when he was held to five possessions by fellow Queenslander Sam Reid in a tight tagging role.

Zorko has polled in nine of 15 games this season, including nine votes in Round 5 against the Western Bulldogs, and five votes in Round 8 against Hawthorn, in a clear pointer to what would be a double-figure haul in the Brownlow Medal.

He leads the Queensland vote-count in the AFLCA Player of the Year from Port Adelaide’s Charlie Dixon, who also picked up nine votes last weekend against West Coast.

Among the contenders for the Port B&F award and Queensland’s leading goal-kicker this season with 32, Dixon has 35 votes overall.

Brisbane captain Dayne Beams (30) is next on the list, followed by St.Kilda’s Nick Riewoldt (14), Gold Coast’s Jarrod Harbrow (11), Brisbane’s Eric Hipwood (8), Geelong’s Zac Smith (5), Reid (3, Brisbane’s Harris Andrews (3), Fremantle’s Lachie Weller (2) and North Melbourne’s Braydon Preuss (1).

By peter Blucher



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