‘I love that kid’: Lachie Neale in awe of young star

Shayne Hope |

Lachie Neale has joined the Harley Reid fan club, with the dual Brownlow medallist in awe of the teen sensation’s highlights reel and envious of his physical attributes.

Neale was a dazzled viewer as Reid piloted West Coast to a surprise win over Melbourne on Sunday, kicking a goal-of-the-year contender and showing off his trademark stiff-arm in an outstanding 21-disposal performance.

It earnt the 19-year-old Rising Star favourite a maximum 10 votes in the AFL coaches’ player of the year award, turning heads around the country.

“He’s a pretty special talent. I love that kid,” former Fremantle Docker Neale told reporters on Monday when quizzed about the Eagles’ new hero.

“It’s good to watch some of the stuff he did last night.

“Some of his highlights already through (nine) games are unbelievable.”

Lachie Neale.
Former Docker Lachie Neale is the latest rival player to join the Harley Reid fan club. (Darren England/AAP PHOTOS)

A Brownlow Medal winner in 2020 and 2023, Neale has made his name as an accumulator and damaging ball-user.

But the 255-game champion sees qualities in Reid he could only wish for.

“I wouldn’t mind having his power and physicality. Those traits would be nice,” Neale said.

“It’s pretty special watching a young player like him go about it. He’s going to be a superstar for a very long time.”

Switching off the Reid highlights, Neale’s main focus this week will be helping Brisbane continue their improved form when they take on Hawthorn at Marvel Stadium on Sunday.

The Lions (4-5-1) are fresh off a 119-point thrashing of Richmond, while the Hawks threw away a 41-point third-quarter lead in their last-gasp loss to Port Adelaide.

“The Hawks the last month have shown what they can do, and they’re going to be really hard to beat,” Neale said.

“Their season’s still alive, too, and they’re playing and matching it against some really good teams.

“We know that we’ll have to be right on.”

Brisbane have lost their past four games against Hawthorn dating back to 2020 despite playing finals every year throughout that time while the Hawks have missed out – raising talk of a possible hoodoo against them.

“It probably is a little bit, I suppose,” Neale said.

“I feel like we’ve been a pretty good team for that period of time and 2019 is a long time ago now.

“Hopefully we can buck that trend.”