Merrett ready for his first outing with Caloundra Panthers
AUSTRALIAN RULES: Former Brisbane Lions stalwart Daniel Merrett is eager to lace-up for Caloundra on Saturday, less than eight months after retiring from the AFL.
The 32-year-old linked with the Panthers earlier in the month but was forced to serve a two-game suspension which carried over from last outing on the big stage.
He watched on from the sidelines but is now ready to help the side improve from its 1-4 start to the season.
"I've had quite a few discussions with senior coach Steve Moody and I've also met all the lads and they are a great bunch of blokes," he said in a press release.
"Our performances over the past two weeks have been really encouraging and I am really looking forward to playing my part in helping the team win as many games as possible and hopefully playing finals football," he said.
He'll compete against University of Queensland at Carter Park (2pm).
A 200-gamer for the Lions, he is likely to play at centre half forward.
"He's in great shape physically and his leadership will be invaluable," president Russell Evans said.
"We're thrilled to have someone of Daniel's capabilities and character represent our club. We have a relatively young team and his experience will be invaluable both on and off the field.
"The buzz across the club and the whole league has been really strong since we announced Daniel's signing a few weeks back."
Merrett will play up to eight games as well as any finals.
Coach Steve Moody also expected Merrett to have an impact when his eighth-placed unit collides with the seventh-placed Red Lions in the 10-team competition.
Amid other matches, Noosa travels to Burleigh and Maroochydore travels to Coorparoo for a top-of-the-table clash.