— Western Bulldogs (@westernbulldogs) September 3, 2014
Daniel Giansiracusa will be remembered as a Bulldogs great after a 265-game career and a significant involvement in the community. He is one of ten nominees for the Madden Medal.
“He’s a determined bastard. To not just survive, but thrive at AFL level on a forward flank for 265 games is testament to his skill and courage,” said his teammate, Bob Murphy.
“He’s been a hugely influential person in our football club, far more than most people outside our club would realise I suspect.”
Selected at pick 32 in the 1999 AFL Draft, Giansiracusa made an immediate impact, kicking a goal with his very first kick. He went on to win the Bulldogs’ Best First Year Player Award in 2001 and was a Rising Star nominee.
Giansiracusa played his career predominately as a half forward and midfielder. His consistency resulted in eight top-ten finishes in the club’s Best and Fairest Award.
From 2010 onwards, he played primarily as a small forward and kicked a career high of 45 goals in 2011. In 2012 and 2013 he was the club’s leading goal kicker, playing a significant role in the Bulldogs’ attack.
The forward stepped up during the 11 finals he played, averaging 20 disposals, but faced the heartbreak of preliminary final defeats on three occasions.
Giansiracusa played his last game against GWS in round 23 of this year. In a performance typical of his career, he gathered 20 disposals and kicked two goals in another consistently impressive performance.
“I’ve been involved in some pretty successful teams and am pretty proud of what we’ve been able to put out on the park,” Giansiracusa said.
“The one thing I talked about was embracing the grind of AFL footy. You can either let it get you down or embrace it and take it on and that is what I’ve tried to do in the 15 years that I’ve played.”
Giansiracusa has been an ambassador for StarBright Learning Exchange who develop relationships between early childhood centres in Australia and South Africa in an attempt to support and learn from one another.
He is also an ambassador for the Eli Hayes Healy Foundation, which works to relieve the financial burden on families with children in the Intensive Care Unit at the Monash Hospital.
Giansiracusa has also completed a Level 2 Coaches Course and has been involved in the Next Coach Program.
Bulldogs’ coach Brendan McCartney told afl.com.au that Giansiracusa will be a “roaring success” as a coach, having acted as a leader to the developing playing list in recent years.
“He’ll leave no stone unturned, quite clearly his best attribute aside from his competitiveness is he never stops learning,” McCartney said.
“He’s so open to getting better and listening and bringing new ways of doing things and he’ll bring that to his coaching.”
The 2014 Madden Medal winner will be announced on Friday, September 30.