Jake Neade of Port Adelaide recently told the media that he’s learned his lesson about not working hard enough to stay in top shape. He enjoyed a fine debut season in 2013 and became a cult hero of sorts to fans due to being the AFL’s smallest player at 64 kilograms in weight and 170 centimetres tall. Neade earned the nickname the Candy Man as he was easily able to elude numerous opponents in his first year. He finished the 2013 campaign with 16 senior matches under his belt and then headed to his hometown of Elliott for the offseason. Neade was impressive that year and many fans backed him in their BetEasy AFL Brownlow Medal bet the follwing season.
However, Neade admitted that he took things too easy during his break and ended up paying the price for it. He wasn’t properly prepared for the 2014 season and didn’t earn his spot in Port Adelaide’s senior side until the 20th round of action. He was talked to by the team’s leadership group and coaching staff and ever since then he’s taken the game and his career more seriously. With this in mind, Neade could be a good choice for some fans this year when they make their BetEasy AFL Brownlow Medal wager.
Neade made sure he stayed in top shape this offseason and showed up at training camp in peak condition. He also set a new personal best in his three-kilometre time trial during training. Neade spoke to AFL.com.au and remarked, “Last Christmas I took some things for granted, like in my first year I played 16 games and then my next year only playing once up to round 20. It was a big eye-opener for me – I’ve learned my lesson. Even the coaches spoke to me about it and the leadership group.”
According to Neade the leadership group and coaches told him they wanted him to be ready to help and inspire the team improve right from the beginning of the campaign. He added that he’s been working hard and can’t wait for the 2015 season to get underway. Since the 20-year-old lives in a relatively remote area in Elliot, Neade has to be motivated enough to train on his own rather than getting together with teammates to workout. He said he was given a training regimen by the Darren Burgess, the club’s high-performance manager, and he stuck to it during the break.
“This time last year I was out of energy and a bit flat, but this year I’m feeling fine,” Neade added. “Not only me but the whole playing group’s looking in good nick too.” This is good news for Port Adelaide fans who are considering backing one of the team’s players in their BetEasy AFL Brownlow Medal wager for the upcoming season.