Lachie Neale’s first season at the Brisbane Lions has come to an end. What a year it was for the midfielder, in strong Brownlow contention and this week he overtook Simon Black for most disposals in a season, with a record 742.
But the end of an exciting year is bittersweet for Neale.
“I’d love to be playing this weekend and next weekend,” he said.
“Looking back on it we can be pretty proud of the Club’s season this year and the big step up.
“Hopefully we can go a couple of steps further next year.”
Neale arrived at the Club in the 2018 AFL Trade Period, with no connection to the city of Brisbane whatsoever and only knowing a couple of the players. However, the gamble excited him and he recognised that the Lions were on the way to creating something special.
“Didn’t know what to expect in my first year but I just wanted to fit in with the group and learn how the guys play and try and help this team move forward,” he said.
Even Neale was surprised at the immediate impact and chemistry he had with the group – especially with the likes of Stefan Martin, Dayne Zorko and Jarryd Lyons in the midfield.
“Pretty early on I felt like I’d built a pretty good connection with the group,” he said.
“We can take a lot of confidence about what we were able to produce this year and hopefully everyone is fit and healthy to go for the start of pre-season next year and we can continue to build that chemistry and cohesion as a midfield group.”
During his time at Fremantle Neale experienced September action and even played in an AFL Grand Final. He was one of only a handful of Lions players who had Finals experience up his sleeve.
“I think the guys handled it really well,” he said.
“We started really well which was the main thing for us…we just missed out on some opportunities.”
Despite having only closed the door on the 2019 season, Neale is already excited by the prospect of the 2020 season.