OPINION

Best On Ground: From pick 58 to Brownlow Medal favourite

C'MON: Lachie Neale celebrates Brisbane advancing to the 2020 preliminary final. The Lions play Geelong on Saturday night. On Sunday, he might become a Brownlow Medallist. Picture: Getty Images
C'MON: Lachie Neale celebrates Brisbane advancing to the 2020 preliminary final. The Lions play Geelong on Saturday night. On Sunday, he might become a Brownlow Medallist. Picture: Getty Images

Three votes, L. Neale, Brisbane.

Expect to hear AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan repeat those words on a regular basis during Sunday's unique Brownlow Medal broadcast.

The ball-winning midfielder is red-hot favourite to take home 'Charlie' after averaging 27 disposals in shortened game time in 2020.

Neale has been a household name in footy circles for a number of years.

He was a two-time Doig Medal winner during his seven-year stint at Fremantle before moving to Brisbane in 2019 and elevating his game to another level.

He added a third club best and fairest - claiming the Lions' Merrett-Murray Medal in his first year - and has earned back-to-back All-Australian selections.

It's easy to forget the determined 177-centimetre midfielder from country South Australia arrived in the AFL via pick 58 in 2011.

That's right, pick 58.

DEE-TERMINED: Christian Petracca had a career-best season and won Melbourne's best and fairest. Picture: Morgan Hancock

DEE-TERMINED: Christian Petracca had a career-best season and won Melbourne's best and fairest. Picture: Morgan Hancock

There will be some new names atop the leaderboard. Expect Melbourne bull Christian Petracca and former tagger-turned-All Australian Jack Steele, who helped St Kilda make finals, to feature.

Port Adelaide veteran Travis Boak was dominant in a strong team too.

Familiar names, such as Fyfe and Geelong's Patrick Dangerfield, are prolific voters and will get their fair share.

Be prepared, as is custom, for midfielders to dominate the votes.

And one in particular - L.Neale.

This week's edition of Best On Ground was written by Warrnambool Standard journalist Justine McCullagh-Beasy

THE FOOTY NEWS YOU CAN'T AFFORD TO MISS:

PRELIMINARY FINALS

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 16

  • Port Adelaide v Richmond, Adelaide Oval, 7.50pm

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 17

  • Brisbane v Geelong, Gabba, 7.40pm
This story From pick 58 to 2020 Brownlow Medal favourite first appeared on The Standard.