Injuries behind Daniher AFL trade request

Joe Daniher (left) is happy to get into Essendon AFL pre-season training under coach John Worsfold
Joe Daniher (left) is happy to get into Essendon AFL pre-season training under coach John Worsfold

Essendon forward Joe Daniher says frustration with injuries rather than a "fishbowl" existence in Melbourne was the reason for his decision to request an AFL trade to Sydney.

Daniher, who played just 11 games for the Bombers across 2018 and 2019 requested a trade to the Swans this year but they were unable to strike a deal and he returned to Essendon.

"I obviously requested a trade to the Sydney Football Club after a long period of time working closely with family and friends, I felt it was the best move for me to freshen up and have a fresh start," Daniher said on Thursday.

"But I knew I was under contract so we had some really good conversations with (Essendon), they made me really aware it was going to be difficult to do and I was fully supportive of that and understood that and I'm happy to come back in today and ready to get stuck into it."

Daniher emphasised it was his groin injury troubles that had been behind his trade request, hoping a "fresh start" would turn things around.

"Not necessarily the fishbowl, I've played AFL for what feels like a long time now and I've grown up in Melbourne my whole life so I'm fully aware of what it takes to be a professional footballer and what you give up and what you get," he said.

"That wasn't a huge priority for me. It was more around the last couple of years have been really difficult from an injury point of view and I felt like a new start might help that.

"But not to be so here we are and ... I'm ready and committed to get back into it."

Daniher said he'd been made aware a trade wouldn't be completed about an hour before the window closed and had coped well with learning he wouldn't get to Sydney.

"I had a really good conversation with Adrian Dodoro, our list manager, and Dan Richardson ... and that was a really good, open discussion," he said.

"The finish of that conversation was 'alright well, let's get down to work - I'll enjoy a couple more weeks off and come back in and we go again.'"

With Daniher a free agent at the end of the 2020 season, speculation about his future looks set to continue into next year, but he said he was focused on getting his body right, not a potential contract extension or departure.

"The first point of call has been my body and that's my priority for now, is getting my body to a position where I can train really hard, have that sustained continuity for a prolonged period of time," Daniher said.

Australian Associated Press