AFL 2021: Fremantle champion Matthew Pavlich urges caution in deal for Brownlow medallist Lachie Neale
Fremantle has to be cautious in trading for Lachie Neale according to club legend Matthew Pavlich, who says the Dockers can’t do a deal that puts their future plans in jeopardy.
Brownlow medallist Neale is set to drop a bomb on the Brisbane Lions and confirm reports he wants to released from the final two years of his contract to return to Fremantle.
Pavlich said there had been “noise” around a potential move for Neale back to the Dockers, who missed the finals in 2021, for some time.
The Lions were in the dark when reports surfaced on Sunday night, and there hasn’t yet been confirmation form Neale or Brisbane, where he has won two club best and fairests and his Brownlow in 2020.
Pavlich said his former club were “a team to watch in 2022” but said a deal for Neale should not be done “at all costs.
“There’s a bit of noise around that (Neale),” Pavlich told SEN WA Breakfast with Gilly and Goss.
“I think it’s well known within a few circles that Lachie and Jules (wife) have been keen to look at their options to come back home at some stage.
“For it to be now and the situation they’ve got with their pending little bub coming, it’s a good news morning for Dockers supporters.
“It’s the same with any player that wants to come to your club, whether it be someone who has already been there like Lachie Neale or someone new with a Brownlow Medal around their neck, you make sure you get the deal done – but it can’t be at all costs.
“It needs to be in the broader context of your list management profile and plan. Lachie’s a bit older than he was when he left three or four years ago. How many more years as he got? What are we paying him? What are we giving in terms to get him back?
“It can’t be at all costs, and I think that’s the point with all trades and free agency stuff, it has to be a part of your plan and strategy.”
Brisbane gave up picks 6, 19 and 55 to acquire Neale from Fremantle at the end of 2018, and he has two years to run on his five-year contract.
If Neale does ends up at Fremantle, he will have broken his contract twice in the space of four seasons.
He had a year to run on his three-season agreement at the Dockers when he left at the end of 2018 and has two more years on his contract at the Lions.
Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.
Sign up for our emails