JOE DANIHER came to Brisbane to provide another focal point inside its forward 50, but captain Dayne Zorko says it's another aspect of the key forward's game that has blown him away.

Daniher has completed a near perfect first pre-season in Lions colours since his free agent move from Essendon, ticking off every session and kicking seven goals in two hitouts against Gold Coast.

While his chemistry with fellow rangy left-footer Eric Hipwood and goalscoring magician Charlie Cameron already looks well advanced, Zorko told something else had caught his eye.

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"He brings a wealth of knowledge to the game," Zorko said. "He's blown me away with his leadership skills.

"I wasn't sure what we were going to get out of him, but what he's shown has gone far beyond what I would have expected, especially for a player that's only new to the club.

"Obviously he's been in the system for a long time, but his knowledge and the way he conducts himself and helps other players has been first class.

"He's the sort of person that when he talks, everyone listens. He doesn't say a lot, but when he does it has so much meaning and power behind it.

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"He's getting more comfortable talking out more, which is great, and he's really starting to take ownership of that forward line, which is an area we probably haven't had a lot of leadership in previous years."

Joe Daniher has a laugh with Eric Hipwood at training in January. Picture: Getty Images

Brisbane's midfield and defence has housed the bulk of its experience and leadership over recent years, although Zorko's push forward and Linc McCarthy's development as a strong voice has helped greatly inside 50.

Daniher is joining a potent scoring team that will have a slightly different look to start the season with Dan McStay (knee) out for up to five more weeks.

Zorko said he could already see the difference Daniher made from just two organised matches.


"I think we've probably, at times, been undersized down there in previous years.

"Eric, for a young key forward - and he is only young - to have the best defender from every team play on you every week can tire you down a little bit.

"I know defences now most play a system where there'll be handovers, but you still feel Eric and Macca (McStay) have had to shoulder the load of big strong hardened defenders.

"Now Joe comes into that mix and now can potentially free up Eric, free up Dan McStay, Tom Fullarton to naturally settle into their game and not feel as though they have to do everything for the team to win.

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"Joe is another piece of that puzzle."