Main content

Neale feeling at home in Brisbane

Prized Brisbane recruit Lachie Neale doesn't have his own place to live in yet, but the midfield ace says his new club and city are feeling just like home.

Neale was at the centre of one of the biggest bombshells in the AFL off-season, asking for a move from Fremantle to the Lions after seven seasons in the West.

Two months into his life as a Lion, the 25-year-old spoke to on the club's pre-season training camp in Tasmania.

Neale said the players had met his expectations, the coaches had exceeded them and his new city had been a breath of fresh air. 

"It's like anything if you go to a new job or meet your new missus' family for the first time, there's always an element within yourself where you want to earn their respect," he said.

"I feel working hard is the best way to do that. I ran a personal best in the 3k (time trial) so I feel fit and strong and have done the work. 

"That was my first step, to come in and earn the respect and work hard. 

"Now I'm starting to impart my knowledge and wisdom and experience across the group, particularly in the midfield." 

With his wife Julie moving to Brisbane at the end of January, newlywed Neale has spent his first two months in Brisbane living with best mate Lincoln McCarthy and his partner Tayla. 

Neale has bought a house that he'll move into when Julie arrives and says his new city suits his demeanour.

"You probably get a bit more freedom and space in Brissie than you do in Perth. 

"I want to do my job and do it well but I'm not too fussed about the fanfare. 

"As long as I've got the recognition and respect of my teammates, that's all that matters. 

"I came to Brissie for a few weeks and went back to Perth (over Christmas) and had about 12 conversations about football within the first 24 hours in Perth and I've probably had three or four in about five or six weeks in Brisbane. 

"It's a lot different but it's been a nice change.

"You can go and grab breakfast and a coffee and be Lachie Neale the person rather than the footballer when you're outside the four walls.

"I think myself and Jules will thrive in Brisbane over the next few years." 

On the training side, Neale has slotted in seamlessly. 

View this post on Instagram

Find someone who‘s got your back like Lachie has Cam’s 🤗 #LionsInTassie

A post shared by Brisbane Lions (@brisbanelions) on


Not only does the Club's hierarchy love his nose for the football in tight spaces, but his appetite to run defensively – a trait they hope he will pass on to his young midfield mates.

Neale said with Jarryd Lyons' ability to win clearances, Dayne Zorko's explosive pace and Hugh McCluggage and Jarrod Berry's outside run, the Lions had a nicely balanced midfield.

"I came here because I thought the players wanted to have a crack and believed they were heading in the right direction, so I'd be lying if I said I was surprised, that's what I came here for and what I expected, so from my end they've met my expectations," he said.

"I didn't know much about the coaching staff before I got here but I've been really impressed the way they go about it, they're really professional but they're great people and they've probably learnt off 'Fages' (coach Chris Fagan), build strong relationships really quickly. 

As for the expectation that comes with being a highly touted signing, Neale said no one put more pressure on him than himself.

"Even before last season, I felt pressure to perform and play well for the team to go well. 

"That'll stay the same. I don't need to do everything and try and beat the world on my own, but I've got to play my role and play well to help this group move forward, that's what they got me here to do.

"I'm looking forward to the challenge."

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs