Lion King: TLA’s Lachie Neale wins AFL’s Brownlow Medal
TLA’s own Brisbane Lions star Lachie Neale has celebrated an outstanding individual season, winning his first-ever Brownlow Medal in utterly dominant fashion.
The prolific Lions midfielder blitzed the field to be crowned the 2020 season’s fairest and best player, polling 31 votes from 17 games to finish comfortably clear of fellow-TLA footballer Travis Boak (21 votes).
The 10-vote margin was the equal-biggest final lead in Brownlow Medal history since the 3-2-1 format was introduced, while his 1.82 votes-per-game was the most in history.
Having already been named the AFL Players’ Association MVP and the AFL Coaches’ Association Player of the Year this season, as well as adding a second All-Australian blazer to his collection, Neale is TLA’s third Brownlow Medal winner in as many years, taking the top honour from Fremantle’s Nat Fyfe (2019) and Hawthorn’s Tom Mitchell (2018).
“It’s unbelievable,” Neale told afl.com.au upon being crowned the Brownlow Medal winner.
“I feel really humbled to be in this position and to be among some of those names, it’s still pretty crazy to me. As has been mentioned, the boy from Kybybolite (South Australia) … never in my wildest dreams would I have thought I’d be standing here today.”
“[TLA Player Agent] Tim (Lawrence) was massive for me, he’s been a massive part of my life, guiding me through the last 10 years of my life both on and off the field. He was a massive part of me getting drafted, I’m sure of that, and some of the lessons he’s taught me I’ve carried on through the rest of my career.”
Other notable results in the count included Patrick Cripps (Carlton), Zach Merrett (Essendon), Nat Fyfe (Fremantle), Tom Mitchell (Hawthorn) and Travis Boak (Port Adelaide) each topping their club tallies.
Early in the count, Gold Coast SUNS young gun and 2020 debutant Matt Rowell polled three consecutive three-vote games to sit on nine votes after round four, before hurting his shoulder in round five and missing the rest of the season.
Also on the night, TLA’s Bachar Houli was recognised with the Jim Stynes Community Leadership Award for his groundbreaking work with young Islamic Australians and the broader community.
Since the establishment of the program, the Bacher Houli Foundation has engaged over 30,000 young people and delivers nine unique national programs annually including the Bachar Houli Academies, Ramadan dinners, Bachar Houli Cup and employment program.
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