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What to expect from 2020’s bizarre Brownlow

LIVE Last updated October 18, 2020 9:47PM AEDT The Brisbane Lions’ Lachie Neale has won the 2020 Brownlow Medal in a bittersweet result after his side bowed out in a preliminary final thrashing against the Geelong Cats. But it couldn’t stop the star’s brilliant individual season in his second year for the club.Neale raced out…

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Last updated October 18, 2020 9:47PM AEDT

The Brisbane Lions’ Lachie Neale has won the 2020 Brownlow Medal in a bittersweet result after his side bowed out in a preliminary final thrashing against the Geelong Cats.

But it couldn’t stop the star’s brilliant individual season in his second year for the club.Neale raced out to an unassailable lead and with seven rounds to go was leading by nine points.

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The 27-year-old Lions gun was scintillating for his club and a huge reason it finished second – equal with the top placed Port Adelaide.

Before the event started, Nine News Melbourne reporter Alicia Muling posted a picture of Neale and his wife Julie and the admission that he was “feeling pretty flat” less than 24 hours after being knocked out of the premiership hunt.

The man of the hour Lachie Neale, (who admits he’s feeling pretty flat) and wife Julie arrive at the GABBA ahead of tonight’s Brownlow Medal count @9NewsMelb pic.twitter.com/IKsjmLG87a

— Alicia Muling (@AliciaMuling9) October 18, 2020

But the shortpriced favourite didn’t disappoint the AFL community, taking out his first Brownlow Medal in the craziest season in memory.

It was the biggest win in the 3-2-1 vote history, with several on social media pointing out that he could have hit 40 votes if it was a normal 22 game season.

Neale locked it up with two rounds remaining when he got the three votes against the Gold Coast.

He went on to win the count with 31 votes by 10 votes to Port Adelaide’s Travis Boak (21) and Melbourne’s Christian Petracca and St Kilda’s Jack Steele. 

Speaking after the win, Neale said it was far beyond where he thought he reach when he was drafted 58 in the 2011 national draft.

“It’s unbelievable,” he said. “I feel really humbled to be in this position and to be amongst some of those names is still pretty crazy to me. As has been mentioned the boy from Kyby, I never in my wildest dreams thought I’d be standing here today.

“I suppose there is a sense of relief that it’s over now and I have the medal. Although there was some great players throughout the year. Travis Boak, Christian Petracca and Jack Steele, even Dustin Martin and Dangerfield had great years as well. There were always going to be challenges, but I’m very proud to have won it this year.”

In paying tribute to those who were there for him throughout the journey, the star paid special tribute to his wife Julie, who he married in 2018.

She moved to Brisbane with Neale when he was traded to the Lion from Fremantle, and he revealed she gave up a lot for him.

“I want to thank my family, want to thank my wife Jules obviously. She is an amazing human being,” he said to vision of her wiping away tears in the background.

“Not many people probably know, but she owned a salon in Perth before we decided to move to Brisbane and she had to sell that to come over here and follow my dreams. She was doing very well for herself over there, but she always puts me ahead of herself when she shouldn’t have to, and she is the most selfless person I know. Thank you very much Jules. I love you.”

Lachie Neale, Brownlow Medalist, great husband.

2019 Brownlow winner and former teammate at the Dockers Nat Fyfe paid tribute to the star.

“Lachie mate, congratulations. Enormous year,” he said. “You came us to at Freo as a late draft pick and from day one set about proving to the competition how good a player you could be.

“I think what you’ve done at Brisbane over the last three seasons has really turned into one of the most consistent players in the competition, an absolute superstar. Mate we have been teammates, been opponents, we are always going to be great mates.

“I wish I was there to give you a big hug and put the medal around your neck. I can’t do that this year but it’s my great pleasure to now ask you to present yourself with the 2020 Brownlow Medal.”

What a class act, Lachie Neale. Brilliant speech. #Brownlow

— James Mottershead (@mottersjames) October 18, 2020

BROWNLOW TOP 10

31: Lachie Neale (Lions)

21: Travis Boak (Port)

20: Christian Petracca (Demons)

20: Jack Steele (Saints)

15: Patrick Dangerfield (Cats)

15: Jack Macrae (Bulldogs)

15: Luke Parker (Swans)

14: Cameron Guthrie (Cats)

14: Clayton Oliver (Demons)

Live Updates


Andrew McMurtry

Lachie Neale didn’t get any votes in round 13 but he leads by three games with four games left, needing four votes to finish it off.

It’ll take something special to knock him off here.

25 Lachie Neale (Lions)

16 Travis Boak (Port)

15 Jack Steele (Saints)

14 Christian Petracca (Demons)

13 Jack Macrae (Bulldogs)

12 Cam Guthrie (Cats)


Andrew McMurtry

Lachie Neale now has all but wrapped it up, 11 points ahead of Christian Petracca in second with five games left.

25 Lachie Neale (Lions)

14 Christian Petracca (Demons)

13 Travis Boak (Port)

13 Jack Steele (Saints)

12 Jack Macrae (Bulldogs)

11 Max Gawn (Demons)

11 Clayton Oliver (Demons)

10 Dustin Martin (Tiger)


Andrew McMurtry

Lachie Neale is out to a three game lead – it’s pretty much his to lose with seven games left.

After round 11:

22 Lachie Neale (Lions)

13 Jack Steele (Saints)

13 Travis Boak (Port)

12 Jack Mccrae (Bulldogs)

11 Max Gawn (Demons)

11 Christian Petracca (Demons)

10 Clayton Oliver (Demons)

10 Dustin Martin (Tiger)


Andrew McMurtry

Magpie Josh Daicos’ goal from Round 10 was the goal of the year, beating out Jack Newnes and Patrick Cripps.

— AFL (@AFL) October 18, 2020

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Nicely done – and he was actually on stage with Hamish McLachlan but couldn’t really grab the trophy as he was still on crutches after hip surgery.


Andrew McMurtry

After Round 9

18 Lachie Neale (Lions)

11 Travis Boak (Port)

11 Max Gawn (Demons)

10 Jack Mccrae (Bulldogs)

10 Jack Steele (Saints)

9 Toby Greene (Giants)

9 Matt Rowell (Suns)

8 Christian Petracca (Demons)

8 Dom Sheed (Eagles)


Andrew McMurtry

The Jim Stynes Community Leadership Award had four finalists with the winner getting $40,000 to a charity of the player’s choice.

The Tigers’ Bachar Houli won the award for the work that he does with his own foundation working with the youth in the community.

— 7AFL (@7AFL) October 18, 2020

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After Round 8 in Brownlow voting:

15 Lachie Neale (Lions)

11 Max Gawn (Demons)

9 Toby Greene (Giants)

9 Matt Rowell (Suns)

8 Travis Boak (Port)

8 Christian Petracca (Demons)

8 Jack Mccrae (Bulldogs)

7 Scott Pendlebury (Pies)

7 Jy Simpkin (Kangaroos)


Andrew McMurtry

The Demons’ Max Gawn has firmed into second while Christian Petracca is up to eight votes as Neale went a bit quiet for a couple of rounds.

Getting closer with 11 rounds to go.

12 Lachie Neale (Lions)

11 Max Gawn (Demons)

9 Matt Rowell (Suns)

8 Travis Boak (Port)

8 Christian Petracca (Demons)

7 Scott Pendlebury (Pies)

7 Jy Simpkin (Kangaroos)


Andrew McMurtry

Charlie Cameron’s Round 4 mark, Sam Walsh’s round 7grab and the Giants’ round 16 hanger from Bobby Hill were up for the Mark of the Year gong.

But it can go to only one with Sam Walsh taking it out after a brave mark.

— AFL (@AFL) October 18, 2020

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