Footy WA host Scott Cummings believes losing Lachie Neale wouldn’t be the worst thing in the long term for the Fremantle Dockers.
Last week, Neale was linked with a possible shift to Brisbane and according to SEN‘s Sam McClure, the star Freo midfielder is open to the move.
Cummings said this could be the Dockers’ chance to finally get a key forward to build around.
“You’d get pick four where it sits now (for Neale), there’ll be a compensation pick for Tom Lynch, and I’d ask for a later pick as well in the draft,” Cummings told Footy WA.
“They’ve got Nathan Fyfe obviously, they need to sign Adam Cerra, Andrew Brayshaw, Brad and Stephen Hill, Stefan Giro and Sam Switkowski.
“They’ve got midfielders coming through, but they don’t have a dominant key position player coming through. They need goalkickers, they need key position players and if Lachie Neale wants to go, if he wants to leave your football club, ta-ta, bring in someone else.
“It’s a blow in their culture, it’s a blow in terms of their morale, but I don’t think it’s a blow as far as their team list is concerned and they’ll get passed it.”
Getting pick four for Neale would give Fremantle back to back picks in the top five of the 2018 draft and a chance to select two of the best young players in the country.
Cummings also believes Brisbane has quickly become more of a destination club than Fremantle.
“I know Brisbane only won five games this year, but it wasn’t the number of games they won, it was how they won them and the footy they were playing,” he said.
“They were in so many more games than Fremantle this year.”
Former Dockers midfielder and St Kilda coach Scott Watters said if that’s true, it’s an indictment on the club.
“I think that’s a damning comment. Fremantle are five years into a rebuild. Chris Fagan is two years in and you’re saying Brisbane is a better destination?” Watters said.
“You’re knee-deep in a rebuild, I think this sends a strong statement to the rest of the club that they need to hold onto their quality players.
“This would be a crippling blow if Lachie Neale actually leaves the club and heads to a club that’s behind in their rebuild.”