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Fifty games for Freo dynamo

Small step for Neale Lachie Neale says his 50th AFL game this weekend is a small step with many more to come
Lachie Neale of the Dockers in action during the 2014 AFL Round 16 match between the Melbourne Demons and the Fremantle Dockers at TIO Stadium, Darwin on July 05, 2014. (Photo: Michael Willson/AFL Media)
Lachie Neale will play his 50th game this Saturday night.

As rising Fremantle midfielder Lachie Neale prepares to play his 50th game this Saturday, he says the positive media about him and the team means nothing.
 
Coming off an impressive 42 touches in the Carlton Draught Derby, earning him a second Ross Glendining Medal, Neale has been the talk of the football world.
 
But it does not sit well with the modest 21 year old.
 
“I’ve been lucky enough to get a few kicks, but it’s a team effort,” he said.
 
“It’s a product of what my teammates have been able to do.
 
“Nathan Fyfe, David Mundy, Michael Barlow and Stephen Hill have played really important roles for us.”
 
So far in 2015, Neale has averaged 29.3 disposals per game and is fast becoming one of Freo’s emerging stars.
 
Since his debut in 2012, he has kicked 24 goals.
 
Neale played every game last season and has gained a reputation as a big game player, evident in his 31 touches in last year’s Qualifying Final against Sydney.
 
“It’s not much of a milestone, 50 games, it’s a small step in hopefully many more to come,” he said.
 
“I’m very grateful for the opportunity Freo has given me since I was drafted back in 2011.”
 
Neale and Fremantle have been getting plenty of plaudits in the media but he said that counts for nothing.

Brereton's high praise for Neale
 
“We’ve been getting praises in the media from the way we’ve been playing, but we want to write our own story,” he said.
 
Senior coach Ross Lyon said Neale works incredibly hard.
 
“He came in as a ball magnet but what he needed to do was improve his running and professionalism,” he said.
 
“Within a year and a half he’s become an absolute pro.
 
“We are thrilled to have him, hopefully he will be with us for a long period of time.”

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs