Joe Daniher is yet to put pen to paper on a new deal.
Joe Daniher is yet to put pen to paper on a new deal. TRACEY NEARMY

Uncle Neale backs Joe Daniher to stick with Bombers

ESSENDON forward Joe Daniher is adamant his soon-to-end contract is not a focus.

But he wants to stay at Tullamarine.

Daniher is out of contract at the end of the season and figures as high as $2 million over three seasons have been floated.

The key forward refused to be drawn on whether they are accurate, saying "there's a lot of speculation about a lot of different things out there".

And he said he is determined to leave the negotiations to his management and not get involved.

"My management is doing a fantastic job behind closed doors and allowing me to focus on enjoying football and playing football," he said.

"That's the critical thing - just let them do their job and let them work with the club and I can concentrate on trying to do the right thing for the footy club and playing my best football."

But having four uncles play for Essendon and having been in red and black since he was a teenager means he wants to stay.

"Yeah (I want to stay), as I said, it's a process that has gone on for a long period of time - I've been here since I was a 15-year-old kid. I'll let them do their job and I'll concentrate on playing football," he said.


Neale Daniher with wife, Jan. Picture: David Caird/News Corp
Neale Daniher with wife, Jan. Picture: David Caird/News Corp

Uncle Neale - who played 82 games for Essendon and captained the club in 1982 - said he would "love" to see his nephew put pen to paper.

"It's up to Joey and his family," he said.

"All Essendon fans - and I'm one of them - would love to see Joey play in the red and black as long as he wants to."

Daniher said his recent form had been "a bit similar to the team's, I suppose".

"A little bit inconsistent here and there and I haven't quite strung enough good months together. I'll continue working hard and I'll continue to try and improve my game and get it to where it needs to."

As for advice, Neale joked "you've come to the right guy".

"Back in my day, I never missed a goal, I never missed a tackle," he laughed.

"I don't think I missed a kick - I was perfect!

"(Joe) is going really well - we're proud of him."

Neale - who suffers from Motor Neurone Disease and is behind this weekend's "Big Freeze" at the MCG - spoke to the playing group this morning before it presented Fight MND with a $5,000 cheque.

"I told the players ... it's (the fundraising) making a difference," Neale said.

"When I was diagnosed, it was hopeless. There was nothing (in the way of treatment). But because of the wider community, we now have clinical trials and eight drugs under development.

"The main message is thank you - it's making a difference. But we've still got a long way to go."

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