A bigger and stronger Joe Daniher will take the field in NAB Challenge
- Adam Baldwin
- News Limited
- February 07, 2014 9:01AM
ON the back of a bumper pre-season Essendon fans can expect a bigger and stronger Joe Daniher in the No. 6 guernsey in 2014.
Having completed his second full pre-season and after five senior games last year, Essendon coach Mark Thompson believes Daniher is starting to build the body to be able to compete with experience AFL defenders week in, week out.
"He has a big future, he has put a lot of weight on, he is looking stronger and more confident. I'm not sure how he will go up in the big league against the big boys every week, but I just know that we will see glimpses of what he can do in the future," Thompson told SEN's Morning Glory program.
Thompson says the priority is to invest as many games as possible into the raw Daniher and citing his experience with a young Tom Hawkins, the need to manage expectations of a rising star is paramount.
"Unfortunately you've got to get your 30 games out the way and they are not going to be your best 30 games of your career, we are going to play him as often as we can," he said.
Daniher is expected to play predominantly as a deep forward, but with the injury to Tom Bellchambers and the versatility of Paddy Ryder, Thompson reports the 201cm father-son will also be asked to play in the ruck.
The coach denies this is a reflection the clubs' rucks stocks are fragile, in fact, it's not a position he places a premium on.
"We've got two ruckman who can both play ruck and go forward and now we have a third in Joe, some people are saying we are not cashed up with ruckman, yeah one is injured, but you probably wouldn't think two will get injured or three. I'm not a big ruckman fan as much as other people are."