MARK NEELD was recruited from the St Josephs Geelong ( Victoria ) Football Club by the Geelong Cats in 1990. He played 48 Games kicking 17 Goals for the Cats during the 1990-1993 Seasons before being traded to the Richmond Tigers. Neeld spent the 1994-1996 Seasons at Richmond where he played 26 Games kicking 16 Goals. He had his best season in 1991 when he played 21 Games for the Cats, including 3 Finals Matches. Neeld was regarded as a handy spare parts player, who could be relied upon to perform admirably in either attacking or defensive roles.
Mark Neeld was appointed as Captain Coach of the Old Geelong Football Club in the Victorian Amateur Football Association in 1997. He plied this role for a second season in 1998, before settling solely on the Coaches role for season 1999. Neeld then began an incredible 4 Season stint from 2000- 2003 as Coach of the Ocean Grove Football Club ( Bellarine Football League , Country Victoria ), where his developing Coaching expertise delivered 4 Premierships in succession, an amazing feat. Ironically, he then returned to Coach the St Josephs Football Club ( the same Club he played for prior to recruitment by the Geelong Cats ) for Season 2004.
Seasons 2005- 2007 saw Neeld fast track his Development as a potential Senior AFL Coach, when he succeeded in the role as Senior Coach at the Western Jets in the TAC ( Transport Accident Commission sponsorship ) Cup competition for players aged Under 18 . His reputation for producing quality young footballers, who graduated to Senior AFL Football, attracted the Collingwood Magpies to appoint him as an Assistant Coach for Season 2008. Neeld spent the 2008 and 2009 Seasons moulding a cohesive, efficient and miserly defence prior to gaining the crucial role as Coach of the engine room mid-field for Season 2010. The stellar seasons enjoyed by Dane Swan, Scott Pendlebury and Alan Didak, who were all selected as All Australians, further confirmed Neeld’s potential as a Senior AFL Coach in-waiting. There is no doubt that Neeld’s influences in both the defensive and mid-field areas were instrumental in the Collingwood Magpies 2010 Season Premiership victory.
The Collingwood Magpies completed an outstanding 2011 Home and Away Season by clearly finishing on top of the AFL Ladder. During the latter part of the Season, a number of AFL Clubs were actively seeking new Senior Coaches for the 2012 Season, and Neeld’s name was continually put forward by the Media as a major person of interest. On the 17 September 2011, the Melbourne Demons Football Club confirmed the appointment of Mark Neeld as their Senior Coach on a 3 year contract from the 2012 Season. As is customary in present AFL Club protocol, Neeld was asked to vacate his Collingwood position immediately, thereby missing the rest of the 2011 Finals Series with the Magpies.
Mark Neeld has completed a lengthy and successful apprenticeship as an Australian Football Coach, and his impact on the youthfully talented Melbourne Demons Team will bear close inspection by all AFL followers from the First Game of the 2012 AFL Season.
UPDATE- 16/06/2013- Mark Neeld has today been sacked as the Senior Coach of the Melbourne Demons Football Club.
UPDATE – 28/10/2014 – Mark Neeld has today been appointed Head of Player Development at the Esssendon Football Club.