DAYNE Zorko says his explosive speed is back after overcoming an Achilles problem that dogged him in 2020.
The Brisbane captain was still highly effective in his team's run to the preliminary final, finishing fifth in the club best and fairest, but concedes he was well below his physical best.
That is no longer the case.
After a closely managed pre-season, Zorko said his agility and explosiveness is back to its best, and he's looking forward to taking on Sydney at the Gabba on Saturday night.
"I certainly haven't felt like I lost any of that, which is really important, because that's the area I probably lost last year," he said.
"It's great to get the confidence back in that area and not have any pain when I make those movements.
"That's really comforting for my own personal headspace.
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"The load's in my legs now which I think is really important and I feel really confident I should get through the year hindrance free."
Zorko was set to spend more time at half-forward this season, with his suffocating defensive pressure complementing Brisbane's attacking weapons, but now could split his time more evenly in the midfield following Cam Rayner's ACL injury.
The 32-year-old said his team needed to play more "on edge" to be a serious contender this season after being mauled by Geelong in last year's preliminary final.
"It's something we've worked on," he said. "We're a lot more mature, we're an older group as well.
"We need to add that into our game to be a really serious contender.
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"We'll keep working towards that. we've trialed things, we'll continue to trial things and hopefully we can execute in the game."
It starts with the Swans on Saturday night, who Zorko described as a "very, very tricky opponent" with their mix of hard-nut midfielders and exciting youth.
He said draftee Harry Sharp was a chance of forcing his way into the Lions' team for a debut appearance.