Shining on the AFL stage

October 12, 2022 BY

Neale, Redman & Gould all rewarded for strong seasons

Former Kybybolite junior Lachie Neale continues to fill his trophy cabinet, adding a third the Merrett-Murray Medal to his collection after being crowned Brisbane’s best and fairest for season 2022.

Neale (pictured top right) was crowned as the Lions best and fairest with 66 votes ahead of fellow midfielder Hugh McCluggage (59 votes) with defender Brandon Starcevich (51 votes) finishing third.

The 29-year-old, who won the award in 2019 and 2020, created club history, joining Dayne Zorko (five), Simon Black, Michael Voss and Jonathon Brown (three) as the only Lions to win the Merrett-Murray Medal three times or more.

Neale started the awards night as the red-hot favourite, with the likelihood of him winning reinforced after finishing runner-up in the Brownlow Medal.

In other locally aligned AFL news, former Millicent footballer Mason Redman (pictured below left) was recognised for his stellar 2022, finishing fourth in the Essendon best and fairest count and also being named the Bruce Heymanson Best Clubman Award and Most Improved Player.

It is the second time Redman has won the Most Improved Payer honour, taking it home in 2019 as well, and last season he was awarded the John Kilby Staff and Trainers’ Award. 2022 was a career best season for the 25-year-old, who was a standout across the Bombers’ backline, averaging 21.2 disposals, 15.6 kicks and 6.2 marks.

And while former Lucindale star junior Will Gould (pictured left) is yet to play an AFL game, he has extended his contract for the 2023 season, building on the back of a 2022 season where he was named the Sydney Swans VFL Player of the Year, playing in 20 games in the second-tier competition this season, averaging 19 disposals and holding the back six together well.

The 21-year-old was taken by the Swans at pick 26 in the 2019 AFL National Draft, and has shown great promise, despite not managing to debut at AFL level.

“Will’s development has been solid as a key defender and we believe he has a good future at the Swans,” Sydney Swans Executive General Manager – Football Charlie Gardiner said. “We are looking forward to seeing what Will can produce in 2023. He’s worked hard on his game over the last three years and was one of our most consistent performers at VFL level this season, so we are pleased that he has recommitted to the club.”