Town cheering on Lachie

PROUD MUM: Mother of AFL star Lachie Neale, Amanda Taylor is hoping to see Lachie win the Brownlow Medal this Sunday.
PROUD MUM: Mother of AFL star Lachie Neale, Amanda Taylor is hoping to see Lachie win the Brownlow Medal this Sunday.

The whole region will be cheering on one of our own on Sunday, as the Brownlow Medal counts roll in.

Former Kybybolite player and current Brisbane Lions midfielder Lachie Neale is tipped to take home AFL's most prestigious award after a stand-out season.

Lachie has had an excellent season with the Brisbane Lions, winning the AFL Coaches Association champion player award.

He moved to Brisbane in 2019 and finished third in the Brownlow Medal count in his maiden season.

The town is showing it's support for Lachie, with a lifesize poster hanging in the window of Sportspower Naracoorte, and a signed guernsey and scarf with proudly displayed at Maddie's Cafe.

Lachie's very proud mum Amanda Taylor said she was amazed by the support the town has shown for Lachie.

"It's been overwhelming, I've had people coming up to me, even people I don't know that well saying 'please pass on our best wishes to Lachie', it's been great."

"I don't think Brisbane has ever had this many supporters in the south-east."

Ms Taylor said it was "surreal" to see Lachie where he is today after many years of driving him to weekend football in Kyby.

"Every child growing up says they want to play football, but for him, you'd ask 'what else do you want to do, he'd say 'nothing, I just want to play football.', she said

"He only ever had that one goal, and he has worked very hard and achieved it.

"It is awesome and I hope he wins it - although I was hoping that he'd win it last year, or the year before, or the year before that - but he's had a good season, and I think he deserves it.

"I don't think there would be too many people gambling on him because I don't think it'd pay very much!"

"I'm a bit biased, I think he should win it every year, but it's been such a weird year, and he's had to adapt to the changes, but I think he's played really well.

"I think it's his year."

Before the medal count, the Lions will face Geelong in a tough preliminary final on Saturday, and of course, Mum will be cheering Lachie on from the stands.

She said she was feeling the pressure more than him.

"He is pretty calm - I've averaged about 4 hours a sleep a night this week, but I think he is level-headed and relaxed," she said.

"He has worked hard on his attitude and mindset as well as the physical side of it, he gets himself into a good headspace."

President of the Kybybolite Football Club Jamie Tidy said the club would be cheering him on together.

"We are excited for Lachie and we wish him all the best," he said.

"He is a great kid, he's worked very hard and he deserves everything that comes his way.

"We've had amazing senior coaches for a very long time and a prolonged period of success. That only comes when you have good people who are good coaches who can teach good young kids who turn into good young men, and Lachie is certainly one of them."

The team will be gathering at the club on Sunday to watch the count together, and there will be a live cross from Channel 7 during the night.

This story Town cheering on Lachie first appeared on Naracoorte Herald.