Bombers key position prospect Joe Daniher is ready for more football in 2014 – whether it’s in the ruck or forward line.
Baby Bomber Joe Daniher doesn’t care where he’s playing – as long as it’s in an Essendon guernsey.
Considered a key forward for much of his development, Daniher looks set to be called upon for ruck duties after an ankle injury to Tom Bellchambers.
Showing all the enthusiasm of a second-year player, the 19-year-old said he would leap into whatever role he was asked to play.
“I just like wearing the Essendon jumper – if Bomber (coach Mark Thompson) tells me to play in the back pocket, I’ll play in the back pocket,” he said.
While Bellchambers is expect to miss the first month of the season, Daniher reported he was “coming along really well in the rehab group”.
“For me it’ll probably mean a chance to have a little bit more ruck time and give Patty (Ryder) a hand in there,” he said.
Despite the departure of leading goalkicker Stewart Crameri and fellow key position player Scott Gumbleton in the off-season, Daniher suggested he didn’t feel the pressure to perform straight away.
“There’s obviously a few vacancies in the forward line but for me it’s about continual development,” he said.
“The ball’s in my court now to hold down a spot and it’s something I’m working towards.”
The 201cm forward played five AFL games in 2013 after making his debut in the round 11 win against Collingwood.
The Bombers fly up to Queensland on the weekend ahead of their Monday night clash with the Suns – which Daniher says can’t come soon enough.
“We’re getting sick of training with each other, it’ll be good for us to have a good proper hit-out against the Gold Coast,” he said.
The Suns have a special place in Daniher’s fledgling career after he turned in a career-best display against them last year.
Daniher kicked three goals on top of 17 touches and eight marks in an ominous display of what the Bombers expect from their young forward.
Daniher made a jumper presentation to Australian basketball prodigy – and Bombers fan – Dante Exum on Friday.
He pledged to support Exum’s club should he be picked up in the NBA draft in June.
“I don’t follow a side at the moment so I’ll definitely follow his career closely,” he said.