AFL Trade: Brisbane rule out any late deal for Lachie Neale after Fremantle drama
Brisbane’s Brownlow Medallist Lachie Neale won’t be part of any late trade deal as he settles in to life as a new father.
Neale, who sparked an AFL frenzy last month when reports emerged he was considering a shock return to Fremantle, and his wife Jules welcomed their first child earlier this month.
After reports the couple wanted to be closer to family to raise their daughter, Lions football boss Danny Daly said the family was now “well and truly established” in Brisbane.
“Lachie is loving every day working out and getting himself cherry-ripe to go again next year,” Daly said on Trade Radio.
“He was one that didn’t have the greatest year with injuries.
“He can’t wait for next year to get back into it and play the footy we know he can.
“He loves it here, loves it in the sunshine, so [a late trade] won’t be happening.”
Neale still has two years to run on his contract with the Lions, and last month described Brisbane as the “best place for us to be”.
In more good news for the Lions, Cam Rayner is ready to return from his ACL injury sustained in a practice match in March.
The 2017 No.1 draft pick’s 2021 season was wiped out before it even began, but he’s now on track to play in round one next year.
“He’s basically another recruit for us,” Daly said.
“Cam has had the whole season to get his knee right and basically put in a pre-season.
“He’s been able to really work on the running side of his game which is something that he lacked a little bit.
“We’ve all seen snippets of what he can do but I’m pretty sure he can go to another level.”
Forward Eric Hipwood also succumbed to a dreaded ACL injury, ruling him out of the Lions’ finals series.
Daly said the 24-year-old was ahead of schedule with his recovery and the Lions were hopeful of Hipwood returning mid-year.
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