Daniher quietly extends at Lions to 2025

Murray Wenzel |

A confused Chris Fagan stopped at the sight of media outside his office on Friday, apparently unaware gun recruit Joe Daniher had extended his contract with Brisbane for another two years.

“I just double parked him in, he can’t leave,” Daniher smirked as his coach watched on.

“He’s a bit surprised I signed; I was very clever, I went around his back … and got the deal done before Fages had the chance to agree to it.”

While a playful nod to Fagan’s insistence his keeps his nose out of list management decisions, the no-fuss announcement was also a big reason why Daniher agreed to lock in his AFL future at the Lions until 2025. 

The 27-year-old has found fitness, form and welcome solitude after his final three seasons at Essendon yielded just 15 AFL games.

The Brisbane experience has proved to be a far cry from his high-profile existence and eventual move from Melbourne last year.

“It’s been a beautiful change for myself,” he said.

“Keeping a low profile in Brisbane; it is a rugby (league) state, but the football side of things is growing significantly and as long as the Lions keep winning we’ll keep growing that base.

“It’s (the anonymity) is something I enjoy, but it’s all part of playing AFL football, dealing with those things. Some people enjoy it, some people don’t.

“(This contract) will take me to a point in my career where it’ll be pretty much the end, if not close to it. So now I can really just concentrate on football.”

Daniher’s smooth transition helped convince the Lions’ top brass an extension was a good idea, the tall forward becoming the first man to kick a goal in every home-and-away game since the last time he did it in a prolific 2017 season.

The wheels fell off after that, but after playing every game in 2021 Daniher’s hopeful those injury-hit final seasons in Melbourne mean his best is still to come in a squad chasing a flag.

He’s particularly keen to resume his partnership with fellow tall forward Eric Hipwood, who is eyeing an early-season return from an ACL tear.

“People forget he’s still quite young,” Daniher said of the 24-year-old.

“Twelve months might be a really good reset for him … we’ll be a better football team with Eric in it.”