Brisbane Lions icon links with Caloundra Panthers

BIG RECRUIT: Daniel Merrett, who starred for  the Brisbane Lions, is set to play for Caloundra.
BIG RECRUIT: Daniel Merrett, who starred for the Brisbane Lions, is set to play for Caloundra. DAN PELED

AUSTRALIAN RULES: Brisbane Lions icon Daniel Merrett has linked with the Caloundra Panthers.

The 32-year-old, who only left the big time in August after playing 200 games for the Lions, officially signed with the Panthers on Wednesday.

The 195cm, 103kg defender is set to play the majority of Caloundra's remaining games in south-east Queensland's division one competition this season.

Club president Russell Evans was delighted to welcome Merrett to North Street, although he won't lace-up until at least May 20 due to a two-game suspension which has carried over from the AFL.

"He will add a lot of experience and help our young players stand a bit taller,” he said.

"The exciting thing for us is that Daniel's really keen to make quite a strong contribution to the group.”

WELCOMED: Daniel Merrett gets his Caloundra Panthers playing strip from Eric Hipwood.
WELCOMED: Daniel Merrett gets his Caloundra Panthers playing strip from Eric Hipwood. Contributed

"For us, it's even more than just his playing.”

"Before the game and during the game and after the game, he will be a really valuable mentor for our younger players.

"He wants to (also) be involved in helping with structures and being able to provide the coaches with a bit of support by bringing all of his experience.”

"So he's really well engaged and quite keen about it. He wants to provide good, valuable community support.”

On the field, he's expected to cause plenty of damage.

"He's been training with the Lions and is still mixed up with a whole bunch of things with the Lions so he's in pretty good nick,” Evans said.

"He's got wonderful body positioning, he's got good hands and at this level his skills will be excellent.

"He takes a good mark and he's a powerful man. They're the things we don't have so to have him on board is invaluable.”

Merrett was a key component at the Lions from 2005 until 2016. He hung up his boots from the big time last year to spend more time with family and after losing some passion for playing at that level.

But it's evident he still wants to keep some footing on the paddock, via the lower local league.

Panthers product and Lions up-and-comer Eric Hipwood presented Merrett with his Caloundra jersey.

Evans said the club did not break the bank to secure the services of Merrett.

"We're pretty lucky. In terms of being a paid player he's not too different for some of our better players so it really hasn't been about the money for him,” he said.

"(And) I think he's interested in getting involved on the Sunshine Coast for a range of reasons.”

The Panthers are win-less and ninth of 10 teams after three rounds of the Division 1 Hart Sport Cup.

The team will face a Tigers unit on Saturday, which could boast another Lions stalwart in Robert Copeland.

Topics:  brisbane lions caloundra panthers daniel merrett

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Sandgate Zonta celebrates exceptional women

Alainya Doyle won the Zonta Club of Sandgate's annual Young Women in Public Affairs award.

Three women receive awards at Sandgate Zonta Club event

LETTER: Community consultation sought on pool upgrade

The kids area at Sandgate Aquatic Centre is being upgraded, with the wading pool being transformed into an interactive all-abilities water play area. Brighton resident Dean Gibson is calling for community consultation for any future upgrade of the centre.

Ideas sought for Sandgate Aquatic Centre upgrade

Stall holders sought for Einbunpin Festival

The Bunpin has emerged from the lagoon to encourage people to get in their applications for stalls at the annual Einbunpin Festival to be held on July 30.

Planning underway for Einbunpin Festival on July 30

Local Partners

Bald Hills school makes finals of reconciliation awards

Bald Hills State School is a finalist in the Queensland Reconciliation Awards for the second year.

What to expect at Birds of Tokyo's Ipswich gig

The band will perform at the Racehorse Hotel on Friday.

BAND member Glen Sarangapany talks music, pub grub and doing shoeys

What public holidays are left in 2017

Ipswich residents will get the day off tomorrow for the show.

IPSWICH residents will get tomorrow off for the show

Petula Clark delighted to sing live for Australian fans

STILL TOURING: English singer Petula Clark is coming to Queensland.

English star Petula Clark still puts on a great show, even at 84.

Shot at the live shows slips through Sally's fingers

SUNSHINE Coast singer's dramatic elimination from The Voice nearly saw her form a duo with her battle round opponent.

Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor split after 17 years

They were married in May 2000 and have two children, who they said will remain their priority.

Ben Stiller and his wife Christine Taylor have called it a day

Why The Voice hasn't produced a star

Boy George responds to Brittania Clifford-Pugh's heart-warming message.

It's the industry, not the show, says Boy George

These actors hated their movies and didn’t mind admitting it

Channing Tatum and Marlon Wayans in a scene from GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra.

Every year, Hollywood blesses us with plenty of God awful movies.

Miranda Kerr and fiance hang up backyard tent for wedding

The decorators and caterers are arriving for the final preparations for the wedding of Miranda Kerr and Evan Spiegel. Pictures: Splash

Evan Spiegel and Miranda Kerr are set to marry today

Book review: Mia Freedman's book meets her critics head on

I appreciated Freedman's blunt honesty in the book