Brownlow night belonged to the “Kid from Kybybolite” in South Australia’s south-east, Lachie Neale.
In a dramatic and thrilling finish to the count at Crown in Melbourne, the bookies favourite Nick Daicos was still equal leader with 28 votes alongside Neale, before Marcus Bontempelli snatched the lead with a brilliant performance in the Bulldogs’ final round win against Geelong, tallying 29 votes.
On the same day, the Lions held on to defeat St Kilda at the Gabba. Neale, in the 12-point win, produced a 30-possession, 10-clearance effort, collected three votes, and was declared the winner with 31 votes.
Lachie Neale was a junior at Glenelg, playing in the 2010 Under-18s premiership. Despite Glenelg’s loss in the 2011 decider at this level, Neale won the Alan Stewart Medal as best on ground. He played SANFL league football with Glenelg that year and was also in the SA state Under-18s program.
Despite his credentials, Neale had to wait until pick 58 (the Dockers’ fourth selection) in the 2011 AFL Draft. He would go on to play 135 games for Fremantle between 2012 and 2018, including being a substitute for the 2013 AFL Grand Final against Hawthorn.
He moved to Brisbane in 2019, collecting his first Brownlow Medal in the COVID-affected 2020 campaign.
Today, Saturday, September 30, he will co-captain the Brisbane Lions as they attempt to secure their first flag in 20 years, against Collingwood at the MCG.