Fremantle had started this season the worst possible way with no wins in 8 matches. They had not been able to create last season’s form where they finished minor premiers and falling short of a grand final. Coach Ross Lyon’s new tweak of the gameplan has simply not worked and his players are not performing to the standards of last year.
If there is any positive out of this season so far it would most certainly be Lachie Neale’s rise to an elite midfielder. Neale is leading the AFL in disposals (266) and contested possession (134). He has been able to find the ball inside traffic and around the ground which has made him a ball magnet.
Despite the positives for Fremantle and their fans, they may not see him at the club next season as there had been rumours of clubs from his home state of South Australia and Victoria trying to sign him. Both Adelaide and Port Adelaide have expressed interest but speculation suggests that he would prefer a move to Victoria if he decides to leave. Hawthorn, Essendon and North Melbourne are the teams believed to be interested from Victoria.
He had been arguably Fremantle’s best player this season and is still only 22 so to require Neale’s service, clubs will have to give up at least a first round draft pick and maybe more if he continues his early season form.
At the moment it looks like Lachie Neale will stay at Fremantle in 2017 but this could change if his club don’t start winning games shortly.