In an astonishing first year as a Lion, Lachie Neale has been awarded the Brisbane Lions’ highest accolade; the Merrett-Murray Medal as Club Champion.
In front of more than 760 guests at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, Neale received the award from its namesakes, Brisbane Bears legend Roger Merrett and Fitzroy Team of the Century Captain Kevin Murray.
The 26-year-old led the count the entire evening and finished with 386 votes. Captain Dayne Zorko finished second with 348 votes and received the Nigel Lappin Trophy for runner up from his Midfield Coach Dale Tapping. Hugh McCluggage finished third overall with 322 votes and received the Alastair Lynch Trophy from Backline Coach Murray Davis.
2019 has been an incredible year for Neale. In August he received his first All Australian blazer, finished equal third in last month’s Brownlow Medal count, and in September played in the Club’s first AFL Finals Series in a decade.
Neale played in all 24 matches for the Lions in 2019, including their two Finals appearances. He averaged 30.9 disposals and 3.8 tackles per game and finished first in the league for total clearances; total centre clearances; total effective disposals; total stoppage clearances and total contested possessions.
Top Ten Leader Board of the Merrett-Murray Medal
Full list of award winners:
Merrett-Murray Medal – Lachie Neale
Nigel Lappin Trophy (runner up) – Captain Dayne Zorko
Alastair Lynch Trophy (third place) – Hugh McCluggage
Players’ Player – Mitch Robinson, Dayne Zorko and Lachie Neale
Shaun Hart Trademark Player of the Year – Mitch Robinson
Finals Player – Stefan Martin
Rookie of the Year – Noah Answerth
Marcus Ashcroft Most Professional Player Award – Harris Andrews
Neville Fallon Brisbane Lions Reserves Best and Fairest – Ryan Bastinac