Geelong will unleash its fourth debutant for the 2022 season when athletic young gun Shannon Neale makes his debut against Adelaide at GMHBA Stadium on Saturday. 

Neale was selected with the 33rd overall selection at the 2020 NAB AFL Draft out of South Fremantle in the WAFL, and joins Ollie Dempsey, Cooper Stephens, and Mitch Knevitt as first time Cats this year.

03:12 Mins
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Neale Debut Interview

Shannon Neale speaks to Cats Media after finding out he will debut against Adelaide. Presented by Morgan Stanley.

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“I’m pretty stoked,” the 19-year-old said on Friday. 

“It has come as a surprise, but I remember Harry Taylor telling me a while ago that it will come when I least expect it, which it did, but I’m ready to soak it all in and focus on tomorrow.”

The 202cm teenager has been a high impact player at VFL level this season playing predominantly as a forward but also pinch-hitting in the ruck, where his combination of size and athleticism has proved a difficult match up for opposition teams. 

Neale’s five goal haul last week against the Northern Bullants was critical to the Cats’ 13 point victory and followed on from four goals in Round 3 against Brisbane. 

He currently sits fifth on the 2022 VFL goal kicking table from seven games. 

00:59 Mins
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Neale Calls Home

Shannon Neale breaks the news to friends and family that he will be playing his first game this weekend.

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“I know I got drafted as a developing prospect and I kind of wanted to wash that away as quick as possible,” he said. 

“I wanted to bang on the door and put my foot there, so I’m happy I’ve been able to do that and I’m just looking forward to going out there tomorrow.”

Neale will replace Gary Rohan in the selected side, who has been withdrawn with hamstring tightness.

Geelong face Adelaide at GMHBA Stadium on Saturday at 1.45pm.