Your 2016 EFC VFL captain - Daniel Coghlan

Go nuts, Humbert.

Star Essendon VFL player Daniel Coghlan, will Captain the side for the 2016 season.

Chosen by his peers, the top job was awarded to Coghlan ahead of the beginning of team’s 2016 campaign.

Coach Matthew Egan spoke highly of the talented midfielder, believing his competitiveness and hard working attitude will be important for a younger team.

“Cogs rated really highly in all our leadership criteria and has proven that he is a leader both on and off the field,” Egan said.

“The way he sets the standards on the field through his ruthlessness is really well complimented by his attitude on the track and around the Club.

“He is a great communicator and highly respected by his teammates.”

Now entering his fourth season with Essendon VFL, Coghlan has proven time and time again that he is an extremely talented footballer.

Playing predominantly as an inside mid, coaches are eager to make use of his versatility and play him in different positions throughout the season.

“He really played everywhere in the pre-season and that’s great for us,” Egan said.

“It means that if we need him to play half-forward or half-back we can put him in those positions and know that he’ll be able to perform.”

Averaging 20 disposals, four marks and 4 tackles a game throughout the 2015 season, it is easy to see why the coaches were so eager to secure Coghlan’s services for the 2016 season.

Described as a ‘tenacious’ player, Coghlan’s growth has been well recognized and resulted in an invitation to test at the 2014 draft.

Despite being unlucky in his AFL pursuits, Coghlan was not disheartened, instead deciding to continue working on his game and becoming a more consistent player.

His development as a player and personal desire to improve are a testament to his character and are sure to have an impact on his teammates, inspiring them to bring their best each week.

“Cogs has already proven that he can be a standout VFL player, and we’re really looking forward to seeing how he steps it up again this year,” Egan said.

“He has already shown more confidence and voice this pre-season.

“He demands the best from everyone around him, but does it in a really positive and encouraging way.

“We really believe in Cogs and are excited to see him grow as a player and person this year.”

Great choice, a much admired player amongst the fans as well.

Some consolation for not being picked up for the senior year team this year, but he must have gone very close to being selected. A quality player.

He’s an important cog in the side

Good to see! Quality player who is great to watch.

Great guy as well- he still comes up to his old local club to support the boys when he can, and is awesome with the younger guys. So pleased for him.

He's an important cog in the side

Get out.

He's an important cog in the side

Get out.

I saw myself out. But now I’m #BackIn


Who would’ve thought my stupid pun would turn into an article?

He's an important cog in the side

Someone reads Blitz!

Captain Dan a key Essendon cog

Dan Coghlan could never have imagined where football would take him when he was spending winter on camping trips just six years ago.

In his late teens, Essendon’s VFL captain was enjoying football season doing anything but playing the national game. The 25-year-old instead spent that time in the great outdoors and then played cricket over the warmer months.

He played junior football but didn’t go through the TAC Cup under-age system and only came back to the sport when mates persuaded him to play at his local club Warburton-Millgrove in 2011.

The tough midfielder’s rise through the football ranks has been swift from that point.

“I guess I came through the system a little bit differently,” Coghlan said. “I didn’t play any footy for two or three years (as a teenager) and was mainly playing cricket and not even going near footy. I was going away camping and stuff like that – a bit of a different winter to the normal footy season.

“I finally had some mates talk me into coming back to play at Warburton-Millgrove, and I played there for two years and got invited down to Essendon for the 2013 pre-season. In the four years since, I couldn’t have imagined coming to be captain or playing for the VFL (in May’s state game against SA).

“I just take everything as it comes and appreciate every moment, because it’s not always going to last.”

Indeed, Coghlan’s four seasons with the Bombers has coincided with one of the most difficult periods in the club’s history. The supplements saga came to a head earlier this year with 12 AFL-listed Essendon players being banned from playing in 2016 – a decision that’s had flow-on effects for the VFL team.

The associated negative media attention might have been enough to drive players away from the turmoil, but Coghlan has stuck by the club that gave him a chance.

“Compared to, say, Warburton-Millgrove, I guess Essendon was always going to be a bit different,” Coghlan said. “It’s had its ups and downs and all the media attention, but the VFL-listed guys are a little bit hidden to it. We just do our thing, control what we can control and enjoy our time while we’re there.

“It went through some funny stages last pre-season when the club was probably a bit flat with the suspension decision, but then to have some new guys (the 10 Essendon top-up players) come in with plenty of excitement was really good.

“They’ve been good around the group – guys like Ryan Crowley who have that AFL experience and have played a few games with us throughout the year. For the younger VFL-listed guys coming up, it’s been a pretty decent mix of teammates.”

Some of the most pleasing moments of Coghlan’s first season as skipper have involved seeing those young Bombers taking their VFL opportunities – players such as Nash Holmes, with whom Coghlan has worked closely on his midfield craft.

He also pointed to spirited comeback wins against Werribee in Round 11 and the Box Hill Hawks in Round 15 as memorable moments, while he’s proud his new role seemingly hasn’t affected his on-field output as Essendon’s chief ball-winner at the contests.

Now the Bombers have secured a finals spot, Coghlan’s next challenge is to help them surpass their run to a preliminary final last year.

From eighth position, it’ll be difficult – but Coghlan has tended to deal in surprises during his VFL career.