New club, new coaches, new teammates and endless possibilities.
Lachie Neale in my eyes is set to explode in 2019 and become part of that elite category to average above and beyond 120 points per game in a single season.
At just 25 years of age Neale still has plenty of good seasons of footy in him and he is coming off his best pre-season he has personally felt he has ever had. Read my thoughts on Chris Fagan’s new boom recruit below.
Player: Lachie Neale
Team: Brisbane Lions
Games played 2018: 22
2018 average: 112
100+ scores: 16
90+ scores: 18
There are many positives about new Lion Lachie Neale. The biggest positive would have to be his super consistency which favours both his scoring output and games played per season.
Neale has managed to average over 109 points per game in the past three seasons and in two of those three he averaged an elite 112 points per game. As well as the impressive points per game numbers Neale has put up in his past three seasons, he has managed to miss just one game playing; 22 games in 2016, 21 games in 2017 and 22 games last season in 2018.
In fact, Neale has managed to miss just two games in his last five seasons, incredible durability from the 25 year old midfielder.
Neale showcased his superb consistency once again in his final 17 games of the season where he averaged 118 points per game after his slow start to the season.
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That impressive 17 game run average demonstrates to coaches that Neale can produce serious numbers for long stints of the season.
His 17-game average of 118 included eight scores above the 120 point mark and two scores in excess of 150 points uncovering his insane scoring potential and making him a genuine captaincy option for coaches. Neale’s scoring potential doesn’t stop there with the superstar midfielder averaging 123 points in his last seven games of the season including three scores above 130 points in his final three games.
A fresh club and a decent midfield around him could be huge for Neale and something that could potentially help him average higher than he has ever averaged before.
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Neale, at 25 years of age is now has reached the age where many star midfielders will peak and have been able to do their best work. Neale’s pre season has been injury free and he has stated himself that it is the best pre-season he has had and the best his body has felt in a while. That is music to the ears of many coaches around the country who are eager to get Neale into their side at a hefty but reasonable price for such a talented player.
Neale has shown the tag doesn’t affect his game in the and that’s something that will give coaches peace of mind.
When Fyfe went down with injury in round 15 he went on to miss the next six games of the season. In those six games Neale had the taggers come to him but he handled the pressure of the tagger accordingly and continued to score strongly with five tons from the six games he played without Fyfe, averaging 112.
Negatives are really hard to find for Neale. Every player does have down sides but Neale’s are extremely hard to figure out.
One query on Neale however, is the uncertainty of how he will go at his new club. Will we see a slight role change to the role he was so successful in playing at Fremantle? Who knows!
That’s the potential danger of picking him. Hopefully the JLT series will be able to more clearly display the role Neale is going to play at his new club and if we will still see the Lachie Neale game style we know and love.
Neale was in my starting team and hasn’t left. Super consistent, reliable and coming off his best pre-season yet recently stating that he hasn’t “been able to complete a pre-season until this year for four years…already I’m noticing my body is a little bit stronger.”
It’s a big yes from me. What about you?
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