There were new recruits out in new colours all over Australia on Wednesday but it was the sight of Brisbane Lions spearhead Joe Daniher participating in full training that stole the show, as players reported for the first official day of pre-season.
Daniher – who moved from Essendon to Brisbane in the off-season after three seasons of injury interrupted footy – was all smiles with his new teammates in the warm Queensland sun.
Eric Hipwood, left, and Joe Daniher, right, wrestle for the ball at Brisbane training on Wednesday. Credit:Bradley Kanaris
The 26-year-old has only played 15 games in the past three seasons, with only four outings in 2020 from rounds 14 to 18.
Essendon received pick seven in the draft for losing Daniher to Brisbane on a three-year deal, with the Lions confident the combination of new surroundings and their strong fitness record will lead to the forward playing regularly again.
Lions midfielder Dayne Zorko told reporters on Wednesday that he was excited to see how Daniher would add to Brisbane's forward line, which already includes Charlie Cameron.
"Since the season finished, Joe stayed up here the whole time; he's been around the group for three months and had fitted in seamlessly," Zorko said.
Joe Daniher takes a mark on Wednesday. Credit:Bradley Kanaris
"At the moment he looks really fit and healthy and hopefully we can keep it that way.
"I'm glad he can come up here, enjoy his football again and mingle with the guys, and their families as well, and everyone loves him and his partner."
Adam Treloar trains with the Bulldogs on Wednesday. Credit:Getty Images
Meanwhile, a host of other AFL clubs began their official pre-season on Wednesday.
Adam Treloar (Western Bulldogs), Jaidyn Stephenson (North Melbourne) and Brad Crouch (St Kilda) were all on the track as new recruits while Essendon, Port Adelaide, GWS, Fremantle, West Coast and Melbourne also got rolling.
The Power's new recruit Aliir Aliir was not at training because he is still in quarantine after travelling from Sydney.
Reigning premiers Richmond will resume training on Monday.
The AFL has restricted clubs to training in small groups of a maximum of 10 given the recent coronavirus outbreaks in Victoria and New South Wales.
There are a host of players without clubs who are training with AFL teams during pre-season in the hope of getting selected for a list spot as a Supplementary Selection Period pick (January 6 to March 9). Those include Oscar McDonald (formerly of Melbourne but training with Carlton), Flynn Appleby (formerly of Collingwood but training with North Melbourne) and Derek Eggmolesse-Smith (delisted by Richmond but given a chance to train with them again).
Koby Farmer, the son of Jeff Farmer, is training with Melbourne after he was overlooked in the draft.
All clubs except for Brisbane, Fremantle, Geelong, GWS, Gold Coast and West Coast have spots on their lists to fill.
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