Daniher fires in Lions' AFL intraclub game

Oliver Caffrey
·2-min read

Newly re-signed Brisbane Lions coach Chris Fagan liked what he saw from Joe Daniher in a strong intraclub display where the prized recruit dominated All-Australian defender Harris Andrews.

After an injury-riddled final three years at Essendon, Daniher has not missed a training session since his off-season move to Brisbane.

The 26-year-old got his first opportunity at impressing in a practice game last Friday night and he did not disappoint.

Daniher slotted three first-quarter goals on Andrews, the Lions' best defender and future club captain.

The former Bombers spearhead finished the hit-out with four majors and also spent time in the ruck.

Fagan, who on Wednesday signed a new contract to remain coaching at the Gabba until the end of 2023, attempted to downplay Daniher's impact, but was still excited by it.

"To be fair, the team that Joey played in was more dominant over the other side so life was a little bit easier for him," Fagan told reporters.

"But (Daniher) demonstrated his great capacity to play the game; he's a natural footballer who plays with instinct and intelligence so that all showed up the other night."

Daniher is coming off just 15 games in the last three seasons but his preparation up north has been faultless.

"Joe didn't go home (to Victoria) after the footy season, he stayed up (in Queensland) and managed to try with our group," Fagan said.

"He was a part of group of 20-odd players who trained together during the off-season and he didn't miss a session."

Fagan took over as coach ahead of the 2017 season with the club on its knees, but last year Brisbane won their first finals match in 11 years.

The 59-year-old is delighted to have his contract situation sorted and go about improving on the Lions' preliminary final exit last season.

"In some ways these four or five years have gone really quickly because I've been so busy," Fagan said.

"But every now and then I pinch myself and go 'gee, from where we were four years ago when it was a struggling place to where we are now is pretty exciting for the footy club'."

Fagan is confident Hugh McLuggage will remain with the Lions with the star wingman out of contract at season's end.

The Lions open their season with a round-one clash at the Gabba against the Sydney Swans on March 20.