Joe jumping for joy in Brisbane

Joe Daniher is loving life in Brisbane as part of an ongoing Lions’ revival that in September could land them their first premiership since 2003.

Brisbane’s prized off-season recruit has fitted in almost seamlessly at a club where “culture” and “process” are buzzwords used by coach Chris Fagan, who has led the Lions’ resurgence since his inaugural season in charge in 2017.

Fagan hasn’t looked for just talent in his recruitment of players, with personality, dedication, honesty, leadership and humility all factors in determining who he brings to the club.

Daniher’s arrival from Essendon was met with much fanfare, but the former Bombers star has been happy to play a team role that includes not only time in the forward line but also assisting Oscar McInerney in the ruck.

“It’s been really enjoyable,” Daniher said ahead of the Lions’ blockbuster against Geelong at the Gabba on Thursday night.

“I’m still getting used to a new environment, playing with different people, playing in a different system, a different team, and when I started the season I wasn’t sure how long that would take.

“You’re trying to move it on as quick as you can and get used to it as quick as you can but I still think I’ve got a lot of growing to do in this side, and I think that myself and other individuals in our forward line can go to another level.”

It’s not just in the forwards where Daniher has made his presence felt, with his role in relieving ruckman McInerney also a key to Brisbane’s success.

“We’ve got Oscar who does a pretty impressive job for us in the middle, so I love to see him spend as much time as he possibly can in there, but if I can go in, help him out, give him a rest, every quarter or so … that’s part of my role, to make sure we don’t blow the big man up.

“He does a super job, and that really helps us. If I can help him be a little bit fresher when he goes in, that’s a good thing.”

Joe Daniher celebrates after kicking a goal for the Lions. Picture: Jono Searle/AFL Photos/via Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

As is Daniher being able to walk around Brisbane without being harassed as much as he was in Melbourne’s AFL fishbowl.

However, he has been pleasantly surprised by the growth of Australian football in Queensland, with Lions’ membership numbers having soared about 40,000 for the first time.

“I’m still getting recognised a little bit, and the supporters have been really great,” Daniher said.

“The football club’s in a really strong position, a really strong place. They’ve been growing over the last four or five years in the right direction.

“I think the fans are really appreciative of where the club’s come from. It hasn’t always been easy in the last 10 years for the Brisbane Lions.

“They’ve had to really work hard, bring some great people into the footy club, they’ve had to build a really strong foundation again, and they’ve done that and I think the fans are really appreciative of where the club now sits, and hopefully that’s a sign that there’s some more progression to come.”

On the field that would include a win over the Cats on Thursday night.

Three of Brisbane’s four losses this season have been against the three teams currently about them on the ladder – Melbourne, the Western Bulldogs and Geelong.

“Unfortunately we’ve come up short against really quality opposition, but we understand our best footy will be enough to compete against all sides, and if we can produce that for long periods, we’ll be able to really compete and compete hard against the best, and hopefully that’s at the back end of the year,” Daniher said.

“The teams that are going to have the best runs towards the back end of the year are the teams that continue to improve and that’s the path we’re on.

“Hopefully we can find improvement in individuals in our squad but also improve as a collective.”

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