2018 Player Review: Lachie Neale

Written by Thommo on February 21 2018

Position: Midfielder

2018 Price: $599,300

2017 Average: 109

2017 Games: 21

Past Averages (2016 – 2012): 113, 104, 87, 87, 47


Compared with 2016, Lachie’s output was down slightly in 2017 for several reasons. The first was his wrist and shoulder surgery in the preseason, the second was the return of Fyfe to mostly full fitness pushing Lachie forward more in 2017 and the third was his late season groin injury. All up his averaged dropped 4 SC points from his 2016 average and his average disposal count reduced from 34 in 2016 to 27 in 2017.

Given he recorded such a large drop in possessions it is surprising that he only dropped 4 SC points per match but his improved kicking efficiency helped as did kicking 14 goals in 2017 compared to 7 goals in 2016.

As mentioned, he did suffer a late groin injury causing him to drop 44 points in Round 21 and then miss Round 22 but all up he was a pretty reliable midfield selection for the second year running.


  1. He is a serious POD.
  2. He’s turning 25 years of age in 2018, prime time for midfielders.
  3. Lachie is under-priced given he averaged 34 possessions per match in 2016.
  4. Ross Lyon has discussed playing Fyfe forward more in 2018 hopefully leaving Lachie to rack up the possessions in the midfield.
  5. Neale is a consistent scorer, only dropping below 90 on 6 occasions in the last 2 seasons.
  6. He has a decent ceiling, scoring over 140 on 3 occasions in both 2016 and 2017.


  1. Neale has again had offseason surgery (listed as knee and groin), but he is tracking well for the JLT.
  2. Ross Lyon.
  3. Again that damn Round 14 bye!
  4. Ross Lyon.
  5. Despite being a consistent scorer, he does score the odd shocker with a 55 and injury-effected 44 in 2017 and a 51 in 2016.
  6. Ross Lyon.
  7. He is a little too handpass-happy, with 3:4 kick-handpass ratio.


It is hard to really criticize Lachie Neale. He is a ball magnet who, even in a poor year, averaged 109ppg. He is at the right age to lift his average even further and he has proven he can perform consistently over an entire year in both 2016 and 2017. If his bye were in a different week he would be super-popular but the Round 14 bye will prevent most coaches looking at him.

With Ross Lyon screwing around with his position in 2017 I refuse to advise ANY coach to select a Fremantle player but if you want to be different with minimal risk, it’s worth considering Lachie.


You know when you just can’t bring yourself to select a player no matter how good their stats are? For me, Lachie Neale is that player. My head looks at his age, at his statistics and at his role and it can’t find fault with him. He is a safe pick to hold his average or improve it.

But my gut disagrees. Maybe it has suffered too much intestinal upset relating to Ross Lyon or maybe his style of play is just not sexy enough to appease my gut but either way I will not be partaking of Lachie.

He just feels wrong!


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22 thoughts on “2018 Player Review: Lachie Neale”

  1. Some snippets from my upcoming Elite Numbers- Lachie Neale article.

    Averages 100+ against 9 teams and plays 8 of them pre bye (Port, Ess, GC, GWS, WC, StK, NM, Carl)

    DS Avg: 112.03 from 35 (11/35 below 100, 11/35 120+)
    13 games at the new stadium in 2018 with 7 pre bye and 5 in the first 8 rounds.

    Bye avg differential of 10.29.
    Pre Bye: 113.08 from 37 (9/37 below 100, 17/37 120+)
    Post Bye: 102.79 from 28 (12/28 below 100, 4/28 120+)

    Lowest Pre Bye Avg is 111.18 in 2015. (113.29 from 14 in 2016 and 114.58 from 12 in 2017.

    45.95% of pre bye matches are 120+.

    Heavily consider as a starting option.


    1. In my above comment the “Averages 100+ against 9 teams and plays 8 of them pre bye (Port, Ess, GC, GWS, WC, StK, NM, Carl)” is incorrect and it is supposed to be 110+.


  2. Great write-up Thommo. I believe he’s a very good, solid option.

    He’s only missed 2 games in the last 4 YEARS, so the risk factor of missing games is extremely low. He’s proven he can score with or without Fyfe in the team.

    Furthermore, Neale’s scores weren’t particularly impacted by the period in the middle of the season when Fyfe was struggling through his chest injury. It was Blakely and Walters who benefited from this, but Neale’s numbers didn’t change much at all.

    The only 2 terrible scores he had last year were when Fremantle got belted by 100+ points in R10 by Adelaide and in R21 by Sydney, where he was moved forward to try to salvage something for the team. But then again, they also got smashed in R2 by Port Adelaide and he scored 129.

    For me, I’d be tossing up between Neale and another R14 BYE player, which is why he’s probably not in a lot of teams, as many people are defaulting to Fyfe instead (or possibly Crouch).



  3. Burnt me last year got him in for Pendels when he went down scored that 40 odd score thenwas injured for rest of year pass.


    1. That would have been annoying, although it’s not really a ‘burn’ if he had a small injury. Scored 156 the week before he went down (and was averaging 113 up until that point (R1 – R20)).


  4. Neale was a POD last year, he’ll be a POD this year, and he will probably be a POD for as long as he plays at the same club as the great shining star that is Nat Fyfe. I’d pick Neale this year if he didn’t have that blasted Round 14 bye…I still might.


    1. Agreed. The only way I can see him getting a spot in someone’s team is by replacing an existing R14 BYE player. But that would mean leaving out someone like Crouch or Fyfe at around the same price-point, and it seems like the general preference for most Supercoachers at the moment is Fyfe > Crouch > Neale.


    2. By the way, great write-up again Thommo. That comment at the end though (and this is in no way a criticism), “he just feels wrong”, reminds me of a quote from my all-time favourite sports flick Moneyball. Jonah Hill’s character explains that submarine pitcher Chad Bradford is under-valued “because he throws funny”.

      Lachie Neale has scored 2200+ for three consecutive seasons. Without checking, I’m guessing only a handful of players have done that. But he’s not a flashy game-breaker, he doesn’t take big contested marks, or kick spectacular goals. Is that why he’s so under-valued in Supercoach?


      1. Was just thinking that myself.

        Over the course of 2015-2017, there were only THREE players that scored a total of 2300+ points across the whole season, in each of the 3 seasons:

        – Dangerfield
        – Martin
        – Neale

        There are a number of others that had this covered in 2015-2016, but then fell away last year:
        – Pendlebury, Hannebery, Shaw and JPK
        These are the guys you’d want to assess as potential bargains for 2018 (although not Hannebery, as he may not even get up for R1).

        Conversely, there are a few that weren’t at this level in 2015, but made it into this group for 2016-2017:
        – Merrett, Bontempelli and Docherty
        These are the guys you would want to jump on for consistency in 2018 (obviously not Docherty though).



      2. Another Great Player Analysis Thommo!

        It is one of Fyfe or Neale for me , and i am going with the masses jumping on Fyfe.

        Now Chillo you were a big hit when you finally arrived on Twitter early in the week managing 50 followers before sending out a Tweet. It pays to have a good profile as one of the great writers for Supercoachtalk.


        1. Thanks TDA! I’m still a bit of a dinosaur when it comes to social media, but there’s no doubt it’s a bit of fun and a great source of info.


    1. FURL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  5. Cannot see where the help is going to come for Freo’s midfield group. You could probably run with Fyfe who averaged 121 after the bye rounds and maybe Neale together whose figures stack up very well to Fyfe with the exception of contested marks. However, support is truly needed in the engine room for Neale to boost his average. Statistically they are the 2nd worst side in the competition next to Carlton saved by their ruck hit outs and clearances. They have 12 players with no AFL experience and another 10 players with 25 or less games under their belt on the list. Add Sheridan, Sutcliffe, Bennell, & Taberner who are unable to cement a spot in the team and few of the inexperienced group need to come from the clouds.
    Maybe Neale is worth a punt if Walters and Blakely spend a fair % running thru the midfield?


    1. The mail I have heard is that Blakely is returning to a half-back role but I have seen no hard evidence of that. FWIW in match sims they had Brayshaw playing on Fyfe in the engine room.

      Surely Walters will spend some time in the mids again because, as you said, who else is there?

      However, that said, their lack of midfielders is more a pro than a con for Lachie.


    1. I’m currently mulling over whether I start with Neale or Fyfe, and this Ross Lyon forward talk is pushing me to Neale. Massive POD and super consistent!



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