Main content

Recommended videos

Highlights: Richmond v Carlton

11:17pm Mar 27, 2014

Malthouse rues costly mistakes

11:44pm Mar 27, 2014

Recommended articles

Sunday football as it happened

Sunday football as it happened

Recap Port's Showdown upset, plus big wins for the Hawks and Tigers

11:45am Apr 14, 2013

St Kilda v Richmond as it happened

St Kilda v Richmond as it happened

 Recap Friday night's MCG clash as the Tigers make their best start to a season in 16 years

04:00pm Apr 5, 2013

Carlton v Collingwood as it happened

Carlton v Collingwood as it happened

Recap Friday night's blockbuster as the Blues capitulate in front of 78,000 at the MCG

10:36pm Jul 5, 2013

Saturday football as it happened

Saturday football as it happened

Recap a day bookended by two major boilovers

01:00pm Mar 30, 2013

Fantasy review: round three

Fantasy review: round three

It was a tough round for AFL Fantasy coaches, Warnie writes

10:42pm Apr 6, 2014

Football world sends off Hafey in style

Football world sends off Hafey in style

Tom Hafey remembered as a great coach and a wonderful man

06:15pm May 19, 2014

Young Fremantle player feels the heat

Nathan Schmook  January 21, 2013 4:23 PM

AFL 2012 Training - Fremantle 191212

Fremantle players, including Lachie Neale, at pre-season training

FREMANTLE midfielder Lachie Neale has been praised for "pushing his body to the limit" after he left the track with signs of heatstroke during a gruelling pre-season training session on Monday.

Fremantle completed a two-hour session in 35 degree heat on Monday morning before a large group of players, including Neale, completed extra running drills at Fremantle Oval.

The 19-year-old, who played 11 games in his debut 2012 season, eventually succumbed and was helped from the ground by trainers.

"It's good that Lachie's pushing his body to the limit," teammate Matt de Boer said.   

"I saw him at the end and he was fine. He was having a slushy and just rehydrating. He'll be right.

"Every session these days is really solid, but we're really enjoying it and enjoying the challenge.

"Lachie was training really well."

Neale, who played 10 consecutive games between rounds four and 14 last season, is one of several young midfielders looking to earn a spot alongside key onballers David Mundy, Nat Fyfe and Michael Barlow in the Fremantle engine room this season.

De Boer, who said he would also be knocking on the door for more midfield time, said the expected competition for spots would benefit the team.  

He highlighted Viv Michie as a young player capable of breaking into the midfield this season after two years battling stress fractures in his right foot.

"He's been great. He said to me he's starting to feel like a footballer again, just running around out there," de Boer said.  

"I can't be more happy for him. He's been out there dominating and I'm letting him know as well.

"He's got good skills and good core stability, so he'll be around the midfield as well.

"There's so many guys knocking on the door and that competition for spots is really healthy.

"It forces the David Mundys and the Mick Barlows to make sure they're on top of their game as well because the young boys are coming for them."

De Boer, who has excelled as a defensive forward through his 76-game career, enjoyed more midfield time in 2012, registering career-high disposals (410) and ranking No.3 at the club for contested possessions (198).

The 22-year-old's kicking efficiency also improved and he said lifting that further in 2013 had been a key focus this pre-season.

"Just working on it consistently to get that confidence with it and then executing it in games reaffirms that confidence," he said.  

"I've had a few coaches and [worked] with a biomechanist, [but] it's a bit of paralysis by analysis; you can't have too many people saying too many things.    

"I've been having some chats with [midfield coach Brett Kirk] and he's been really good for me and the group."

Nathan Schmook is a reporter for AFL Media. Follow him on Twitter: @AFL_Nathan