Lachie Neale is officially a Lion, with Brisbane giving up two first-round draft picks to secure the star midfielder.
Fremantle traded Neale and pick 30 to Brisbane for picks 6, 19 and 55 in the much-anticipated deal.
The Lions unlocked the key to the Neale trade earlier this morning by giving up a future first-round pick to Gold Coast to get pick 19 in this year’s draft, as well as future second and third-round picks.
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In a statement, Fremantle chief executive Steve Rosich paid tribute to the departing Neale.
“A trade deal was agreed with Brisbane as it provided us with two first round selections that are important for our needs,” Rosich said.
“Lachie is a tremendous person and footballer and he has shown this from his seven years at Fremantle and we wish him well at Brisbane.
“On top of his on-field achievements, Lachie has been an incredible contributor at the club as a leader and with his work as a Starlight ambassador.”
The Neale shift was finalised with six hours remaining before the 5:30pm (WA time) trade deadline.
It marked the first domino to fall in a series of trades that resulted in the Dockers picking up both Jesse Hogan and Rory Lobb.
Lions football manager David Noble said the club was thrilled to bring Neale into their midfield unit.
“(He’s a) great character who brings lots of attributes into our football club that we want to stand for in where we’re going,” he said.
“Apart from the depth of the midfield that it adds to, in the age demographic that we want, he’s a great person.
“We’d like to thank Freo for being open and willing to deal.”
Noble said Neale had been attracted by the direction Brisbane was heading in.
“I think he likes the list we’re putting together,” he said.
“I think he feels that there’s a position in there where he can really extend his football.
“He’s done his homework. He loves the way Fages (Lions coach Chris Fagan) goes about his coaching, and I think they’re the key things Lach’s really seen to look forward to.”