AFL: Joe Daniher will join Brisbane Lions

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Joe Daniher is set to join the Lions after Essendon elected not to match the offer put forward by Brisbane.

The Bombers will receive a compensation selection which at this stage looks to be pick seven.

Daniher will now take up a three-year deal with the Lions.

Earlier on Friday, Essendon CEO Xavier Campbell revealed just how close the club came to retaining the star forward, despite his eventual decision to join Brisbane.

Daniher’s future has been one of the biggest talking points over the last 18 months and after being denied a trade to Sydney last year, the 26-year-old chose to exercise his rights as a restricted free agent to head north.

While many believed that Daniher’s call to leave Essendon was one that had been a year in the making, Campbell believes the club managed to turn the star forward’s head back towards Tullamarine.

“I thought we got to a position where Joey was really close to staying,” Campbell told SEN.

“I think the length of time it took for him to make that decision is a reflection we got much closer than people think to him staying at the football club.”

Brisbane is expected to lodge the paperwork for Daniher in the coming days, with the forward’s remuneration set to hand Essendon a first-round compensation pick.

While Daniher’s departure from Essendon was not a surprise, Campbell admitted that the club had been blindsided by defender Adam Saad’s trade request.

“Saady was a surprise and it’s disappointing that we’re in that position. And we have to own that,” he said.

“I think Adam found the hub difficult. I would have loved for him to take a bit more time to make his decision, but he didn’t, and he’s made that decision and we have to respect that and we have to move on and get the best trade possible for the football club to drive that improvement.

“I think part of it [the reason for leaving] was positional, I think part of it was cultural, I think that hub experience was very difficult for him so it was a multitude of factors but they’re questions you’ll have to ask Adam.”

Essendon made further waves this week by choosing not to renew football boss Dan Richardson’s contract.

Despite reports linking former North Melbourne coach Brad Scott to the role, Campbell was adamant that the Bombers had not earmarked a replacement for Richardson.

“We’ve got a role in mind; we want a strong and experienced leader ideally with some diversity in their background and their experiences,” he said.

“Ben [Rutten] has got great respect for Dan, they had a close relationship.

“We have got great confidence in Ben to lead this football program forward.

“We’re not changing our strategy, we are not changing our plan.”

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