Joe Daniher was never short of a footy role model.
His father Anthony and uncles Neale, Terry and Chris famously played and coached almost 1000 AFL games between them – including one match against St Kilda in 1990 when all four took the field together for the Bombers – but, perhaps surprisingly, they’re reluctant to share too many of their experiences with Joe.
“I leave my coach’s hat right off,” Neale told Channel 7’s #Discovered team with a smile last week.
“The last thing Joey wants is advice from his old man or his uncles, and [hearing], ‘back in my time…’ He doesn’t need that.”
“We want to turn him into a good person, and don’t define Joey as a footballer” – Neale Daniher
The Daniher family is enjoying watching Joe develop, but his AFL career is only a small part of that.
“We want to turn him into a good person, and don’t define Joey as a footballer.”
“Essendon people see him as a footballer – a number, and hope he gets a kick. We do too, but it goes a lot deeper than that with family.”
Joe, who has “about 36 cousins”, feels fortunate to have been born a Daniher.
“I grew up like any other kid loving the game of AFL football, wanting to be like my dad and my uncles,” he said.
“I was lucky enough to do it at the same football club that my dad and uncles had some success at.”
Joe is quickly emerging as a young star to keep an eye on – he’s kicked 51 goals in his 36 games for the Bombers thus far – but recently, his uncle Neale has been spending more time in the public spotlight. His public battle with Motor Neuron Disease has helped raise more than two million dollars for medical research.
“It’s no surprise Neale’s doing what he’s doing,” Joe said.
“I think the thing that’s been most shocking is how much this great community of the AFL has got behind it, supported it… Hopefully that continues beyond Monday and we move forward and get closer to finding a cure. I’m sure that’s not too far away.”
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