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Daniher’s Star on the Rise

Joe Daniher received the Round 12 AFL Rising Star nomination for his impressive display in Essendon’s 15-point win over the Giants.

“my week-to-week consistency is something that’s fluctuating and I’m looking to improve that” – Daniher

The young key forward took six contested marks and booted three goals on his way to 15 disposals and nine marks for the match.

It’s Essendon’s second consecutive Rising Star nomination after young midfielder Zach Merrett received the accolade last week – a feat not accomplished by the club since Ricky Olarenshaw and Mark Mercuri gained nominations in 1993.

Taken with Essendon’s pick 10 in the 2012 draft, Daniher has been the club’s focal point in attack this season, playing every game and leading the goal-kicking with 14 majors.

Following the Bombers’ win on Saturday, the 20 year-old said he’s looking for consistency and is working hard to eradicate his hiccups in front of goal.

“We’ve trained a lot in the last two [to] three weeks and I feel like I’m getting the improvement I want to see… but my week-to-week consistency is something that’s fluctuating and I’m looking to improve that,” Daniher said.

“It was a bit wayward again [on Saturday], but my kicking is something I’m working on quite fiercely with the coaches… We’re seeing better results but it’s a part of my game I need to improve – and quick smart.”

Having arrived at the Bombers as a father-son selection in 2012, Daniher has had a steady rise through the AFL ranks, averaging nearly a goal per game in his 16 matches. He credits the guidance of David Zaharakis in showing the younger Bombers the way.

“Zacka has been great in the last month – I think his training has been outstanding and that’s coming out in his game,” he said.

“For the young players in the team like myself, we take a lot out of Zacka and his leadership and it’s really good to see.”

The Bombers have won four of their past five matches and are within reach of the top eight, but Daniher isn’t looking past this weekend’s match against Melbourne.

“I’d love to play the Dees on the MCG – there is no better place to play football.”

“They’ve been really good in the last couple of weeks too, so it’ll be another tough contest for us.”

Essendon will face a mixed draw in the coming five weeks with Adelaide, Geelong, Port Adelaide, and Collingwood following the game against Melbourne. The Bombers will be without skipper Jobe Watson for 10 weeks after he tore a tendon in his hip, but Daniher believes the challenge is there for another player to stake his claim in the side.

“It’s really disappointing the way Jobe went down the way he did. We didn’t think it was going to be as bad as it was,” he said.

“It’s just another opportunity for someone else to come in. Hopefully that’s a young guy that wants to take the opportunity.”

Daniher is Essendon’s 36th Rising Star nomination in the award’s 22-year history, and is eligible for this year’s #22Under22 side. Will he make it into your team? Let us know in the comment box below.