Brisbane Lions coach Chris Fagan say Lachie Neale’s actions ‘right and fair’

Murray WenzelAAP
Brisbane AFL coach Chris Fagan has backed star midfielder Lachie Neale after a turbulent week saw him recommit to the club.
Camera IconBrisbane AFL coach Chris Fagan has backed star midfielder Lachie Neale after a turbulent week saw him recommit to the club. Credit: Darrian Traynor/via AFL Photos

Brisbane AFL coach Chris Fagan has backed star midfielder Lachie Neale after a turbulent week saw him recommit to the club.

The 2020 Brownlow Medallist had been considering returning to Western Australia to be closer to his wife Jules’ family, with the couple expecting their first child in October.

It kicked off a media frenzy though, before the 28-year-old met with the Lions and put any thoughts of a move west to bed.

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Neale is contracted for another two seasons with the Lions after signing a five-year deal upon leaving Fremantle at the end of 2018.

“He’s just a young man who was trying to do the right thing by his wife and family, it’s that simple,” Fagan said on Friday.

The situation they’ve found themselves in, it was right and fair to ask himself that question.

“Fortunately they’ve been able to see a way to stay here but I’m in no way critical of the fact he gave that serious thought.

“Because so he should, and I would if I’d been in the same position.”

Brisbane finished fourth this season after back-to-back second-place finishes in previous years, but own a 1-5 finals record in that time.

Fagan said the side had matured to the point where they wouldn’t be seeking another senior player to replace defender Grant Birchall, who retired on Friday.

“We’re still third-youngest list in the competition, still plenty to learn but with guys like Hugh McCluggage, Jarrod Berry .. they can start doing that very same thing themselves,” he said.

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