Lachie Neale's smackdown of David King as AFL great's comments come back to bite him

The Brisbane Lions captain clearly took the comments personally.

Lachie Neale.
Lachie Neale won the Brownlow Medal and helped the Brisbane Lions make the AFL grand final in 2023. Image: Getty

Lachie Neale kept the receipts and has let David King know all about it. The Brisbane Lions captain took a cheeky dig at the AFL great on Saturday in a social media post to mark the year that was.

Neale posted a number of photos with family, friends and teammates, but also included a screenshot of comments King made early this year regarding Neale's form (the last slide in the post below). King said in August: “He’s absolutely right off. His last four weeks, he’s averaged 21 disposals which is 70th in the comp.

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“He’s had 18 score involvements, which is 123rd in the comp. He’s winning clearances, he’s won 30 clearances but nothing’s coming off them. There’s no damage, there’s no breakaway anymore. Over the last four weeks, on the 100x rater – which just compares him per 100 minutes averaged out – he is the 284th ranked midfielder.”

Neale clearly took the comments personally and produced a big second half of the season for the Lions. The 30-year-old won his second Brownlow Medal and helped the Lions march into the AFL grand final, where they narrowly lost to Collingwood.

The 254-game veteran has been caught up in a number of controversies over the last few months - most notably about his Brownlow triumph. Neale won with 31 votes ahead of Western Bulldogs captain Marcus Bontempelli (29) and Collingwood young gun Nick Daicos (28).

Lachie Neale, pictured here after winning the Brownlow Medal in 2023.
Lachie Neale was a controversial winner of the Brownlow Medal in 2023. (Photo by Albert Perez/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

However Collingwood fans thought Daicos was robbed of the medal after he didn't receive any votes for games in which he had 38 disposals and two goals (in round four against Brisbane) and 42 disposals (in round nine against GWS). Many also questioned how Neale was awarded three votes in round six against GWS despite a number of other players appearing to outshine him.

Pies fans still hadn't gotten over the controversy at the pre-grand final parade, loudly booing the Brisbane co-captain. And it was once again a big talking point as Neale finished with just nine kicks and 21 disposals in the Lions' four-point loss in grand final. Daicos had a game-high 29 disposals, including 17 kicks and 12 handballs, with Pies fans happily pointing out the disparity.

Collingwood fans smacked down over latest Lachie Neale gripe

Neale was dragged into more controversy last week when he was unveiled as the player on the cover of the annual AFL Record season guide. The cover player is always that year's Brownlow Medallist, but Collingwood fans seemed to overlook that fact and criticised the decision to feature Neale.

One fan wrote: "Runners-up edition: When does the premiership edition come out?" But AAP journalist Oliver Caffrey pointed out that Collingwood great Nathan Buckley featured on the cover of the 2004 edition despite losing in the grand final. Dane Swan was also featured on the cover in 2012 after losing the decider to Geelong.

New AFL Record editor Ashley Browne also hit back, saying: "To all the Collingwood fans having a meltdown, the Brownlow medallist always features on the cover. Plenty of great Magpies content once you turn the page."

Neale is a two-time Brownlow medallist, three-time All-Australian, five-time club best-and-fairest and a winner of both the AFL coaches' and players' associations player-of-the-year awards. But for all the individual accolades, he is still without a premiership.

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