Neale opens up on why he chose to move to Brisbane Lions
CLEARANCE monster Lachie Neale says Brisbane's ability to score in the defence orientated AFL was one of the major attractions that led to his move to the Lions.
Neale said he began to watch the Lions closely after his manager told him they had made casual enquiries about his plans once he came out of contract in 2020.
The closer he watched the more he liked what he saw and the idea grew that he would be open to an early move if the planets aligned.
Although it took to the final day of the trade period, Brisbane and Fremantle finally reached an agreement to send the dual best and fairest winner to the Gabba on a five-year deal worth about $4 million.
"Watching from afar I was pretty impressed about the way they had gone about it, they play a really exciting brand of footy'' Neale said.
"The players seem like they are on the same page, playing for each other and the spirit on the field is very impressive.
"I had a look at the list and they have a lot of kids coming through in the 19-22 bracket, guys like (Jarrod) Berry, (Cam) Rayner is obviously exciting, they have a big group of young players who are going to be great players.
"Their defensive game style improved a lot this year and that will only get better.
"And it is hard to score in the AFL and Brisbane are one side that can score, that was exciting for me too.''
When news broke mid-season that Brisbane were interested and the deal may happen this year, other clubs made similar enquiries.
But Neale said once he'd met the Lions he considered no one else.
"I met the staff and they were all really great people and supportive of myself and my partner, Jules, the people involved in the organisation got me across the line,'' Neale said.
"Once I met Brisbane I thought I didn't really need to meet anyone else.''
The question that has Dockers fans puzzled is what went wrong at Fremantle.
"I am not going to delve too much into the reasons behind it, I just want to say I am a really good fit at Brisbane and I am excited about joining them,'' he said.
"I have no bad words about Fremantle, I couldn't speak highly enough of them, they gave me the chance to live out my dream and I hope they do well.''
However he is a laid kid from Bordertown on the South Australia-Victoria border and admits he was attracted to life in Queensland outside the footy bubble.
"That is really a feeling for me as well, it is pretty footy crazy over here and I have had my fair share of media attention lately,'' he said.
"It is important to me that once training and games are over you can be Lachie Neale the person instead of the footballer.''