After a four-premiership, 634-game and 27-year coaching stint at Essendon, Kevin Sheedy can be forgiven for not leaving the caper with too many regrets.

Yet one sticks out quite vehemently which the iconic Bombers legend still doesn’t like to mention to this day.

The 1990 Grand Final was a missed opportunity for the Dons, who let a first-place home-and-away season finish culminate in a 48-point defeat to their arch-rivals.

Blown away by a Collingwood side looking to end a 38-year premiership drought, Essendon was comprehensively beaten despite being near even with the Pies at quarter-time.

Dejected Bombers players after the final siren of the 1990 Grand Final. (Photo: AFL Photos)

While one player rarely makes a team, Sheedy revealed a former Bombers captain, who was not selected for the decider, may have made a difference in the defeat.

The option not to select this player made Sheedy feel like it was one of his biggest blunders as a coach.

“I probably made a mistake, and I don’t like to mention it, but my mistake is I didn’t pick Neale Daniher in the 1990 Grand Final,” Sheedy told The Bombers: Stories of a Great Club.

“I reckon it’s one of my worst mistakes as coach.”

In 1990, Daniher had featured in the side as recently as the final home-and-away game of the season after coming off his third knee reconstruction and predominantly playing for Essendon’s reserves.

The then-30-year-old kicked three goals in that match as a forward, which wasn’t enough to convince Sheedy and the selection committee that he could survive the rigours of a finals series.

In Daniher's flashes of brilliance among injury-riddled seasons, Sheedy described him "as good a player as James Hird and Tim Watson, who didn’t get the chance to be able to play as well". 

The sentiments are backed up by the start of Daniher’s career.

At just 20 years of age, Daniher was a Dons best-and-fairest winner in 1981 and named as club captain the following season after only 66 games in three seasons.

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But in that same year, he would suffer the first of three knee reconstructions and play only 16 more games for the club despite being touted as one of the most promising players in the VFL.

While injuries cruelled his athletic prowess, Daniher oozed leadership and class with ball in hand.

It’s that brilliance and stability as a former Crichton medallist which might have proved pivotal for the Bombers to weather a brutal Grand Final which included an infamous quarter-time brawl.

“I didn’t think we were fast, and Neale wasn’t fast after three knee reconstructions, but he was a smart player,” Sheedy said.

“He would’ve quelled that tension which was in that Grand Final after the brawl (at quarter time).”

Daniher called time on his career after the Dons’ runner-up season, and while he didn’t end his career with a Grand Final appearance, he was able to sign off in a history-breaking way.

That final regular season match of 1990 at Moorabbin was a famous day which saw Neale join his siblings Terry, Chris and Anthony as the first time four brothers had played together in the same game.

It would be the only occasion all four Danihers featured in the same AFL match.

Sheedy recalls the idea for the occasion stemming from a conversation with the Danihers' mum, Edna.

(L-R) The Daniher brothers Neale, Chris, Anthony and Terry with mother Edna and father Jim. (Photo: AFL Photos)

He revealed Edna had suggested whether it would be possible for all four boys to play together.

“She (Edna) mentioned to me one day whether the four boys would play together,” Sheedy said.

“That gave me a real insight into what she was thinking.

“It’s a fantastic effort for that family - seven sisters and four boys, who are all playing AFL and they’re in the middle in NSW, so it’s a pretty good effort. So, we made Mrs Daniher the Football Woman of the Year when we started celebrating that.”

The Daniher story features in episode five of The Bombers: Stories of a Great Club, which will air at 7:30pm AEDT on Tuesday exclusively on Fox Footy and Kayo. Episode six will begin at 8:00pm.