Lachie Neale trade: Why Brownlow Medallist should be prepared to go to West Coast, or Fremantle

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Catherine HealeyThe West Australian
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Could Lachie Neale end up at rivals West Coast?
Camera IconCould Lachie Neale end up at rivals West Coast? Credit: Michael Willson/AFL Media

AFL commentator Ben Dixon believes Lachie Neale must be prepared to go to Fremantle or West Coast if he is serious about heading back to WA for family reasons.

Speaking on FoxFooty, Dixon said he hopes Brisbane will stand firm on any potential trade if Neale isn’t prepared to pull on the blue and gold next season.

“The Lions aren’t going to give away an A-grade player to Fremantle. That’s just not going to happen,” Dixon said.

“If I was in the chair (at Brisbane), unless I got what I wanted, he’s staying exactly where he is. You don’t want to play ball Fremantle? No problem, West Coast might want to and give up a first rounder or two for him.


“If it’s Perth, why can’t West Coast come into it?

“Ask him face-to-face: ‘Are you prepared to go to West Coast?’. And if he says no, then he’s not going back for family reasons, he’s going for the wrong reasons.”

Lachie Neale and his pregnant wife Jules.
Camera IconLachie Neale and his pregnant wife Jules. Credit: Instagram

West Coast currently hold their highest draft pick since 2014, when they selected Liam Duggan with pick 11.

Neale played 135 games for the Dockers before taking up a lucrative five-year deal with the Lions at the end of 2018.

Making finals in his first year in Queensland, and winning a Brownlow in his second, Neale’s third year at the Lions didn’t go to plan as the club endured a straight sets finals exit last Saturday.

Lachie Neale has two years to run on his Brisbane deal.
Camera IconLachie Neale has two years to run on his Brisbane deal. Credit: Russell Freeman/AFL Photos

Less than 24 hours later, Neale and wife Jules’ wish to head home to be closer to family for the impending birth of their first child was made public.

Dixon said the fact Bulldog Adam Treloar could continue his career in Melbourne while his netballer fiance and the couple’s young daughter moved to Queensland showed travel should not be a factor.

“If this deal doesn’t fall in Brisbane’s favour, I’m sorry to say, but you’re stuck in Queensland,” Dixon said.

“Like it or lump it, you’re playing for the Brisbane Lions, because they moved heaven and earth to get you and they gave you five years. That is it, full stop.

“Neale’s on big money in Queensland with no restrictions, living his life. You’re playing and you’re working, you’ve actually got a job. So in my book, it’s on Brisbane’s terms, not your terms Lachie.

“I hope the Lions stick their guns and say ‘we’d like to help you out but we need to put the football club first and we need this. And if it can’t get it done, then I’m sorry to say you’re going to have to fly your family from Perth to Brisbane’.’”

Neale has already been heavily criticised for the way his possible trade request has played out.

Lachie Neale and wife Jules made the move to Brisbane.
Camera IconLachie Neale and wife Jules made the move to Brisbane. Credit: Instagram

Journalist Damien Barrett labelled Neale a “manipulator” while former AFL coach Rodney Eade said he was “really struggling to have compassion” for the star.

“He walked out of a contract in Fremantle and he’s now doing it again at the Brisbane Lions,” Barrett said.

Neale has two years left to run on his deal with Brisbane, after the Lions gave up picks six, 19 and 55 for the midfielder and Fremantle’s pick 30.

No official trade request has been lodged by Neale.

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