AFL Round 12. 08/06/2019. Carlton v Brisbane Lions at Marvel Stadium, Melbourne. Lachie Neale of the Lions 1st quarter . Pic: Michael Klein
AFL Round 12. 08/06/2019. Carlton v Brisbane Lions at Marvel Stadium, Melbourne. Lachie Neale of the Lions 1st quarter . Pic: Michael Klein

Lions star Neale predicts best still to come

Brisbane recruit Lachie Neale never expected to reach 150 games but the midfield star is hopeful there's another 150 to come, and he's setting his goals higher.

Now, with the benefit of hindsight, if anyone said Neale was the 58th best player in the 2011 draft they would be the one getting laughed at.

Neale will reach the milestone when he runs out for Brisbane against GWS on Sunday and although he never dreamt his career would turn out the way it has, he now hopes he is only half way through it.

"I was a pretty late pick in the draft, eight years ago now, so it's gone very fast,'' he said.

"If someone said I'd play 150 games I would have laughed at them.

"It is special for me and my family and everyone that's helped me get to where I am but hopefully there's a lot more to come.''

Neale was one of a handful of high profile player exchanges that headlined a busy trade period last off-season.

He won two best and fairests at Fremantle and has never had anything but positive words for the club that gave him his chance at AFL level.

 

Lachie Neale will play his 150th game this weekend. Picture: AAP
Lachie Neale will play his 150th game this weekend. Picture: AAP

 

 

But he reckons Brisbane has given him a new lease on life and is confident the best is yet to come.

"I've absolutely loved it, the club have been fantastic to me and for me,'' he said.

"I've developed as a player in a short amount of time and that's a credit to the players and coaching staff and everyone involved.

"I've been still a little inconsistent within game this year so there's another level I feel I can get to and hopefully over time I can reach that.

"It ranks as some of my best footy but at the same time I've played some average games as well.''

The Lions have named an extended 26 man squad which includes Brisbane's other high profile off-season signing Marcus Adams.

 

 

Alex Witherden returns after missing last week with a virus while Archie Smith, Josh Walker and Nick Robertson are the other new faces.

Oscar McInerny misses out due to concussion and another four names will be removed when the squad is trimmed after training today.

GWS at home represent one of the toughest assignments in footy and Neale said knocking over a genuine contender on the road was the next great step for the club.

"Giants are an unbelievable side, phenomenal side really, they've got so much talent across every line and it'll be a massive challenge for us,'' he said.

"To be the best you've got to beat the best.

"The guys haven't won at Giants Stadium, maybe when they first came into the comp, but not for a few years.''