Please Neale Daniher, please come back to Windy Hill. You are too much of a warm personality, too quality a bloke and too brilliant a football mind to be forgotten, to be left out in the cold by a football club that never deserved you. Stop being so magnanimous and impartial about the way you were disrespected and come back to the Bombers, we miss you.
It is my opinion that your services would be invaluable at Essendon. Not that I am implying that it is time for Kevin Sheedy to step aside; nevertheless, I think the influence you could bring to the Bombers would be greatly appreciated, at board level, at playing level and at the fansâ€™ level.
This is our chance to see more of the Neale Daniher that teased and tantalised us all so much in his 82 match, all-too-brief playing days. A noteworthy â€˜best & fairestâ€™ winner in 1981, and club captain in 1982, we would happily welcome you back at Windy Hill. Those disastrous knee injuries robbed us of what was rightfully ours, another impressive and exciting component derived from the same machine that brought us Anthony, Chris and of course legendary brother Terry.
Opportunities for progression and recognition may not have been at a premium the first time you filled an assistant coaching role at the Bombers – with Sheedy rather comfortable in the coaching hot seat. However, times have changed and it appears that there is plenty of scope for one of the clubâ€™s favourite sons. And if not, well then there should be.
Please accept this opportunity to, in a small way, get back at the Demons. There is little doubt that season 2007 was awful, disappointing, perhaps even a little regrettable. However, in previous years you so often made a mediocre playing list look worthy of its consistent place in September action.
Also, you almost single-handedly revitalised the financial well-being of the Melbourne Football Club with your conscious efforts of becoming more outspoken in media circles. You had your troops playing some blistering and exciting football in 2005 and 2006 despite some ageing talent and injury interruptions. In each of those seasons, the aforementioned obstacles and an overall lack of skill at your disposal was found out due to the extensive rigours of a grueling 22 round AFL season. I believe the failures of 2007 were a continuation of that concept. Ironically, towards the end of your career you grew to be a victim of your own success, sending expectations higher than was deserved, and I myself am guilty of those elevated hopes for the Dees.
Your absence from the media has already been sorely missed, as many football fans share my opinion that you may well have been the last of the true coaching personalities. We are constantly subjected to robotic responses from AFL coaches to predictable questions from unimaginative reporters. That was never the case when Neale Daniher had something to say. You brought an unfamiliar smile to so many football faces. If nothing else, maybe you could simply be the Bombersâ€™ media correspondent, thus relieving considerable annoyance from coach Sheedyâ€™s shoulders.
So please accept this polite, no strings attached invitation to once again be a part of the mighty Essendon Football Club. As a devoted fan, I believe you would be an invaluable addition to a team obsessed with success, a chance to be a welcomed part of a club you so often called yours. Come home Neale, we will always appreciate your talent, your initiative, your ideas and your insight. Letâ€™s face it, your football knowledge was always a waste at a club which has failed to win a Premiership in 43 years, why not surround yourself with red and black folk that know what it takes to win?
After all, Essendon has won five Flags since Melbourne won their last. Easy decision Neale, if you ask me!
Article written by Mark Franklin from oneweekatatime.com.au