Main content

Neale coming up roses but no bouquets yet

Post-match: Freo Watch Fremantle coach Ross Lyon's post-match press conference
Lachie Neale of the Fremantle Dockers takes a mark during the 2014 AFL round 07 match between the West Coast Eagles and the Fremantle Dockers at Patersons Stadium, Perth on May 04, 2014. (Photo: Daniel Carson/AFL Media)
Improving Docker Lachie Neale still has work to do, says coach Ross Lyon
Lachie's next step is he'll get tagged … we'll start throwing out the bouquets when he's learnt to work through a tag
Ross Lyon, on Lachie Neale
ROSS Lyon says he's pleased with the progress Lachie Neale has made but he's not going to start handing him bouquets just yet.
 
Neale became the youngest player to win the Ross Glendinning Medal as the best afield in a Western Derby after gathering 32 disposals and kicking a goal in Fremantle's 19-point win over West Coast at Patersons Stadium on Sunday.
 

Lyon said Neale's form late last season and early in 2014 had been impressive but like all of his young players, he wants to see more from the 20-year-old midfielder.
 
"It's a progression they need to make, it's that belief and work ethic and taking your opportunities," Lyon said.

"Lachie's next step is he'll get tagged. Someone will pay tighter attention than he got today. We'll start throwing out the bouquets when he's learnt to work through a tag."

Neale played down his performance on Sunday, instead saying he still had a great deal to learn from his teammates in the midfield.

"We've got some great midfielders like Nathan Fyfe, David Mundy and Mick Barlow," Neale said.

"They've been really good for me, especially this year playing a bit more midfield time. They've been leading well and helping me inside."

Lyon was full of praise for Aaron Sandilands in his 200th game. There has been criticism of Sandilands' effectiveness in recent times with particular reference to the number of marks he had been taking.

Sandilands took six marks against West Coast after taking just five across his previous three matches. Lyon said the delivery to Sandilands has been largely to blame.

"He stood up with some really strong contested marks around the ground," Lyon said.
 
"In saying that I think we're kicking it a little bit better to Aaron. We've done some work on that, how to kick it to Aaron to give him best chance.

"And I thought today we took a step forward with that and we'll show them those clips and he can be a real force around the ground if we kick it to him correctly.
 
"Sometimes it's not the players; sometimes it's the delivery."
 
Lyon would not buy into talk that the win over West Coast kept Fremantle's top four chances alive but he did acknowledge his side had some work to do.
 
"We're far from playing our best footy," Lyon said.

"We're 4-3, could easily be a bit better (but) the best team in the competition towelled us up.

"Everyone talks about top four but I thought you had to earn those positions.

"It's been bestowed upon us when we haven't earned anything."