Cameron Rayner and Darcy Gardiner stop for a photo with Sophia and Dale Pope.
Cameron Rayner and Darcy Gardiner stop for a photo with Sophia and Dale Pope.

The talent is there for finals success: Neale

AUSSIE RULES: Brisbane Lions player Lachie Neale firmly believes the club has what it takes to end their 17 year premiership drought this year.

Neale is one of only a handful of players at the club to play in an AFL Grand Final.

He did it with Fremantle in 2013, playing as the sub as the side lost to Hawthorn.

Neale has been in Bundaberg the past two days visiting schools and running clinics with his Brisbane Lions teammates in preparation for the upcoming season.

But while the team last year didn't make the grand final, losing in two finals after finishing second, the midfielder is confident the Lions have what it takes to get to the decider.

"They are completely different sides (Fremantle and Brisbane)," Neale said.

"I think we certainly have the talent to make the push.

"Unfortunately we couldn't do it last year when we put ourselves in a great position to do so."

And Neale said it wouldn't just be for one year.

"I reckon we've got the talent and building towards long term success," he said.

"Hopefully over the next few years we can get the ultimate."

Neale, who was picked at number four in the draft, played for Fremantle for seven years before moving to Brisbane last year.

He is in the second year of a four-year deal.

Neale said the ultimate reason he joined the club was success, which he is starting to see.

"I felt like I could add to this group of players and bring my skills and really help these guys," he said.

"And that could help me become a better player, that was the big part of the reason (for the move)."

While Neale's spot in the Brisbane Lions 22 is virtually safe most weeks based on his form, fellow Lion Darcy Gardiner knows he needs to perform well to keep his spot.

He was part of the trip and played all games last season for the first time in his career.

The aim is to continue that this year.

"Each year you get new guys in and it gets more competitive," he said.

"You can say it is harder each year to pick the 22."

The Brisbane Lions play one more pre-season match against Carlton on March 8 before the season officially starts against Hawthorn on March 22.