Three Lions picked in AFL’s All Australian team
THREE Lions can claim to be the best in the business in their position after being named in the All Australian side.
Harris Andrews, Charlie Cameron and Lachie Neale received their first All Australian blazers at a gala function at the Palais Theatre in Melbourne last night.
Lions vice-captain Andrews was unlucky to miss selection last year when he was named in the initial 40 man squad but was robbed of the chance to force himself into the starting full back position when he missed a month due to concussion.
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Lachie Neale has also come close before and proved he has produced the best football of his career since joining the Lions by finally earning a blazer from his fourth time in the squad.
Cameron has also reached new heights in his second season at the Lions to earn his first selection.
The trio were among nine debutantes in a changing of the guard for the all star team.
However there were also seven players who retained their spots from 2018 - Patrick Cripps, Brodie Grundy, Patrick Dangerfield, Tom Stewart, Max Gawn, Shannon Hurn and Jeremy McGovern.
It was Dangerfield fifth consecutive All Australian honour and seventh overall - the most of any player in the side.
Brisbane's three representatives was the second most behind Collingwood and reigning premiers the West Coast Eagles who each supplied four players.
Fremantle's Nat Fyfe, who was awarded his third blazer, was named captain with West Coast's Shannon Hurn his deputy.
Andrews was a late bloomer having missed representative teams until the Under 18s but now at just 22, he has established himself as the league's premier key defenders and was thrilled to be recognised alongside the AFL's biggest stars.
"Very excited, honoured, to be regarded in such a high manner in the league," Andrews said.
"I missed out on a few teams growing up and tried not to get too disheartened.
"I guess it's about the importance of not giving up on what you want to achieve."
Neale has played all 22 games this season averaging 31 disposals and ranking in the top three players across the league for centre clearances, total disposals and contested possessions.
"I think it's probably my best season so far and still feel like I've got a lot more to work on though," he said.
"It's a pretty special moment but to be honest we've got some bigger things to come over the next few weeks."
After missing most of the 2018 season with a lisfranc injury, 25-year-old Cameron stormed back in 2019 to play every game and finish with 54 goals this season.
"I feel really proud to receive my first blazer alongside Harris and Lachie," Cameron said.
"I love this team and can't wait to see what could happen over the next couple of weeks."
The 2019 AFL All Australian Team
B: Tom Stewart (Geel) -- Harris Andrews (Bris) -- Dylan Grimes (Rich)
HB: Bachar Houli (Rich) -- Jeremy McGovern (WCE) -- Shannon Hurn (WCE, Vice Capt.)
C: Marcus Bontempelli (WB) -- Patrick Cripps (Carl) -- Tim Kelly (Geel)
HF: Patrick Dangerfield (Geel) -- Jeremy Cameron (GWS) -- Michael Walters (Fre)
F: Jack Darling (WCE) -- Tom Hawkins (Geel) -- Charlie Cameron (BL)
R: Brodie Grundy (Coll) -- Nat Fyfe (Fre, Captain) -- Lachie Neale (BL)
Interchange: Scott Pendlebury (Coll) -- Max Gawn (Mel) -- Elliot Yeo (WCE) -- Jack Macrae (WB)