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Merrett, Beams named new leaders at Lions

Ben Collins  January 24, 2016 10:22 AM

AFL 2015 Rd 12 - Western Bulldogs v Brisbane

Second-year Lion Dayne Beams has been added to the club's leadership group

DAYNE Beams and Daniel Merrett have been appointed vice-captains of the Brisbane Lions after the struggling club issued a virtual call to arms among its most experienced campaigners.

Ex-Magpie Beams, the joint club champion in his debut season with the Lions last year, and elder statesman Merrett join deputies Dayne Zorko, Pearce Hanley and Daniel Rich in an expanded leadership group under second-year captain Tom Rockliff.

Beams, 25, was previously a deputy vice-captain at Collingwood, while key defender Merrett, who at 31 is easily the Lions' oldest player, was a member of the Lions leadership group from 2009-14 before relinquishing that role to mentor the club's backline last year.

Beams said the added responsibility came at the ideal time in his development.

"I think you’ve got to be ready for it and I think I’ve got my on-field stuff sorted out and also my off-field stuff sorted out as well," he told News Ltd.

"I’m in a pretty good place with life. I feel like I’m ready to take the next step and help guide these young guys to hopefully some success in the not-too-distant future."

Merrett revealed he was reluctant to step back into a leadership role when coach Justin Leppitsch sounded him out at the end of last season, finding the workload "a bit demanding" given he also has a young family. However, the Lions' new strategy and retention manager Craig Lambert had better luck with a more forceful approach.

"It was more when 'Lambie' (Lambert) came on board … he said, 'I need you here'," Merrett said. "He didn’t take no for an answer.

"For me not to be in some sort of leadership role with my experience and with such a young group, it would have been wasting an asset. It is the same for Dayne."

Merrett was also happy to oblige Lambert's request that he take No.2 draft pick Josh Schache into his home.

"It’s pretty new to me but it is working out well – he is a great kid," Merrett said of his developing big-brother relationship with 199cm key forward Schache.

Merrett and Beams would complement Rockliff’s leadership style, Lions football manager Matthew Francis told the club website.