Brisbane recruit Joe Daniher says he feels a “sense of relief” after finally landing at the Lions more than a year after he tried to leave Essendon for Sydney.
But the former All-Australian forward isn’t feeling the pressure of delivering the Lions their first AFL flag since 2003 despite the being regarded as the final piece in the club’s premiership jigsaw.
A Lion for at least the next three seasons after securing a move from the Bombers, Daniher said there was plenty of hard work ahead of him and the resurgent club to take the next step by winning a premiership.
The Lions have finished second on the ladder for two years in succession, and this year went a step further in the playoffs by reaching the preliminary final.
“From my experience in football, anything that’s happened the year before doesn’t guarantee anything that goes on into the future,” Daniher said.
“Brisbane have a great win-loss record in recent times, but that doesn’t guarantee you anything.
“You need to knuckle down and continue to stick to a process and vision. I feel the Brisbane Lions are going to do that and I’m really excited to be a part of that. Hopefully I can play a role in helping the guys on field and supporting the coaches and what they’re trying to achieve.”
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There is no doubting Daniher’s talent.
The 26-year-old, 200cm forward was an All-Australian in 2017 and was Essendon’s leading goalkicker for four successive years.
But injuries have ruined Daniher’s past three seasons. In that time he has played just 15 games.
Joe Daniher can’t wait to get started with the Brisbane Lions. Picture: Jono Searle/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
“It has been challenging from an off-field perspective,” he said.
“As a footballer all you want to do is go out and play, and have a lot of fun and enjoyment playing.
“I’ve been starved of that in the last few years, so I’m really excited and can’t wait to get out there, and pull on a jumper, and just enjoy playing football.
“My psychology around playing the game hasn’t changed. It’s about being really clear about where I want to get to, working as hard as I can and going out and performing.
“That’s not going to change here.”
Daniher said he left Essendon, the club he has supported all his life and where his family name is etched in stone, on good terms but needed a “fresh start”.
“I’ve had a fantastic relationship with the Essendon Football Club not just in my playing days, but a supporter growing up,” he said.
“They’ve been incredibly supportive of me for a very period of time.
“They understood why I needed a fresh start, needed a change, so I can’t thank them enough for the time I spent there, and for that continued support.
“I feel a sense of relief. I’m very pleased and proud to be at the Brisbane Lions.”
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