Essendon youngster Joe Daniher took important steps during his inaugural season at AFL level, which is expected to be stepping-stones to a long career in the red and black.
Daniher was taken under the Father/Son rule at last year’s national draft after already spending twelve months working with the club’s James Hird Academy program.
The mobile big man began the season well at VFL level eventually breaking into the senior side for his AFL debut against Carlton in Round 11.
“Joey is a fantastic guy to have around the footy club and shows really strong leadership,” Development Coach James Byrne told BomberTV.
“His VFL form was as good as any young kid coming in for his first year and playing in a key position he really dominated his position.”
“It was fantastic for him that he got to play league footy, he has a lot of development ahead but he is going to be a strong leader for our football club and a really strong player for our senior side going forward.”
Daniher played five matches in his first season often being selected in the senior side as a key forward and back up ruckman.
“Definitely the ruck technique is something that he needs to develop in the coming years,” Byrne said.
“He is a natural forward, he leads really well, has great leading patterns, is really quick and mobile for a big fella and he has got really good skills.”
“That (his ruckwork) is probably the one level where it stood out going to the next level that he needs to do a bit more work.”
Daniher will continue to develop his game at senior level with emphasis on improving his ruck technique to allow him to be a more rounded performer at senior level.
Byrne expects the attitude from the 201cm big man to see him pushing for selection in the AFL side for round one in 2014.
“I don’t think we are going to put too many great expectations on Joe, he will do that himself he is that sort of guy.”
“We will try to develop him in the aspects of his body and his technique in the contests so that he can cope with the bigger bodies of AFL footy.”
“The way that he prepares he will give himself the best possible opportunity to be able to push for round one.”