Chris Fagan pumps up Lachie Neale’s Brownlow chances

Chris Fagan pumps up Lachie Neale’s Brownlow chances

Brisbane AFL star Lachie Neale would be a deserving Brownlow Medal winner, according to Lions coach Chris Fagan.

Fagan says Lachie Neale winning the Brownlow Medal would be a silver lining on the Lions’ season after their disappointing preliminary final defeat.

Fagan’s men bowed out of the premiership race after a 40-point loss to Geelong at the Gabba on Saturday night, squandering the chance to play a grand final on home soil.

But red-hot Brownlow favourite Neale winning the game’s most prestigious individual honour for the first time would rightly be cause for celebration.

“I’d love to see him win the Brownlow,” Fagan said after the preliminary final.

“I hope he does, he deserves it, he’s had a fantastic season.

“But there will be other boys that have had great years as well that could equally deserve it.

“I’m sure that whoever wins it, they all deserve to win it.”

Neale led the AFL for disposals in 2020 and ranked in the top five for clearances and contested possessions.

The 27-year-old was outstanding again for the Lions in their preliminary final defeat, finishing with 24 disposals, eight clearances and two goals.

“He’s been fantastic and his game tonight was probably a microcosm of the work that he’s done over the last two years,” Fagan said.

“He was the guy that was really trying to lift us and he kicked that great long goal.

“Lachie’s a true professional and he’s really disappointed like the rest of us.

“We wanted to get into the grand final and give ourselves a chance.

“But he is a great person to have in our club because he’s always trying to get better and you can’t have enough of those guys.”

Neale is a $1.25 TAB favourite to win the Brownlow.

Melbourne’s Christian Petracca ($7), Port Adelaide veteran Travis Boak ($8) and much-improved St Kilda ball-winner Jack Steele ($13) are best-placed to cause an upset after stellar seasons.

Of the past winners, Geelong’s Patrick Dangerfield ($21), Richmond’s Dustin Martin ($26) and Fremantle’s Nat Fyfe ($51) are considered outside chances.

© AAP