Lachie Neale has capped one of the most remarkable seasons in football history by claiming back-to-back Merrett-Murray Medals as the Brisbane Lions’ Club Champion.
It has been a Spring carnival like no other for the champion midfielder who collected an AFL style quaddie with his landslide triumph in the Brownlow medal on Sunday night completing the clean sweep of football’s major individual awards.
He had previously won the Leigh Matthews Trophy as the AFL Players Association’s MVP and the AFL Coaches Association Champion Player Award.
And just to add another bit of silverware to the haul his finals performances were recognised when he tied with brilliant young midfielder Hugh McCluggage as the Best Finals Player of 2020.
In front of 400 guests at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, Neale received the award from Brisbane Bears legend Roger Merrett, Lions chairman Andrew Wellington and Senior Coach Chris Fagan.
The medal’s other namesake, Fitzroy Team of the Century Captain Kevin Murray, was unable to attend due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.
Although Neale claimed the Brownlow medal by an equal record margin, the voting in the Club Championship was much closer – a reflection of the superb team performance by the Lions in advancing to their first Preliminary Final in 16 years.
The 27-year-old averaged 27.5 disposals in the shortened game and was the league’s highest possession winner as he tallied 305 votes from 19 games.
His midfield partner Jarryd Lyons won the Nigel Lappin Trophy for runner-up with 269 votes while McCluggage took home the Alastair Lynch trophy for third place with 237 votes.
Lyons received his trophy from Strategy Coach Danny Daly while Midfield Coach Dale Tapping made the presentation to McCluggage.
Oscar McInerny produced his first top ten performance to finish fourth with 212 while the captain and four-time winner Dayne Zorko rounded out the top five with 206.
Senior Coach Chris Fagan and the five Assistant Senior Coaches allocate votes based on the player’s overall performance, deliverance on all team criteria and execution of the team trademark.
There is no restriction on the number of players who can receive votes.
Each coach will grade and allocate a maximum of four votes to a player. The maximum votes a player can receive in a match is 24.
Brisbane Lions Club Champion Top Ten
Lyons J 269
Players Player of the Year 2020
Oscar McInerney presented by captain Dayne Zorko
The Marcus Ashcroft Award for Most Professional Player
Harris Andrews presented by Damien Austin
Shaun Hart Trademark Player of the Year Award
Oscar McInerney presented by Ben Hudson
Rookie of the Year
Brandon Starcevich presented by Murray Davis
The 2020 Finals Player Award
Lachie Neale and Hugh McCluggage presented by Jed Adcock
Deven Robertson Rd 1 v Hawthorn
Thomas Berry Rd 2 v Fremantle
Connor Ballenden Rd 9 v Essendon
Jack Payne Rd 10 v Richmond
Tom Fullarton Rd 13 v St Kilda
Keidean Coleman Rd 15 v Collingwood