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Lachie Neale on The Roar Deal

The Roar Deal: Lachie Neale Lachie Neale talking about his draft experience.

Lachie Neale was a special co-host with Mike this week on the Roar Deal and no topics were off limits.

In a bumper episode Lachie spoke to Mike about everything from what it’s like being tagged, the Lions’ road form, his thoughts on the media’s relationships with players, his tough road to being drafted and how he learned those magic tricks which took social media by storm.

Lachie revealed to Mike he wouldn’t know what he would be doing now if he hadn’t been drafted. He’s now one of the most respected players in the league, but it might not have been. 

His whole life growing up in rural South Australia Lachie wanted to be an AFL player.

In Year 10 he moved to Adelaide in an effort to advance his football. As an under-ager he had an inconsistent year with Glenelg.

“It was a pretty challenging year I suppose. As a kid all I wanted to do was play AFL,” he said. 

The following year was his draft year, which he started well with a solid pre-season behind him and strong performances for both Glenelg and the South Australian team.

But he was overlooked early on by recruiters when he was not invited to the national combine. It only got worse.

“I remember my manager called me and said, ‘I don’t know how to say this but you haven’t been invited to the state screening either.’

“That was pretty tough to take,” Lachie said.

“I thought to myself then there’s no chance I’m going to get picked up now. 

“As an 18-year-old your world kind of caves in a bit.” 

Thinking back now Lachie thought clubs were looking for an ‘x-factor’ that he did not possess, and he also lacked raw speed.

But with a strong family and manager behind him, Lachie remained determined and played for Glenelg in the Under 18 Grand Final and was awarded best on ground for that match. He believes that was the reason why he was eventually drafted. 

In 2011 he Fremantle selected him with Pick No. 58 at the national draft and the rest is history. He is now respected as one of the most dangerous midfielders in the competition.

“It comes down to little moments,” Lachie said.

“We got there in the end. I’m glad someone took a chance. Otherwise I don’t know what I’d be doing at the moment.”

Lachie believes where you are drafted does not mean much when you arrive at a club. 

“It doesn’t really matter where you go, it just matters what you do when you get there.”

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