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Joe Daniher wins NAB AFL Rising Star nomination

Baby Bomber a Rising Star Essendon's second year sensation Joe Daniher is the round 12 NAB AFL Rising Star
Joe Daniher has won this round's NAB AFL Rising Star nomination - ${keywords}
Joe Daniher has won this round's NAB AFL Rising Star nomination
It's something I'm working on now, quite fiercely, and I'm looking to change that as quick as I can
Joe Daniher on his wayward goalkicking
JOE DANIHER has been named the NAB AFL Rising Star for round 12, making it back-to-back nominations for Essendon.

Following teammate Zach Merrett last week, Daniher has been rewarded for his three-goal performance in the Bombers' win over Greater Western Sydney. 

Daniher, who was drafted by the Bombers with pick No. 10 (father-son) in the 2012 NAB AFL Draft, has had a long connection with the Bombers with his father Anthony and uncles Terry, Neale and Chris all playing for the club.

"I told him (Anthony) this morning over coffee, before we both went to work. He was rapt," Daniher said.

The young key forward showed his talents against the Giants with 15 disposals and nine marks, six of which were contested. 

Daniher's form has improved significantly after he was left out of the side against the Sydney Swans in round nine, only to earn a reprieve after the late withdrawal of Michael Hurley with a back issue.

"I found myself out of the team which was a little bit disappointing," he said.

"I feel my training standards have probably gone up a little bit higher (after the omission). I think that has helped my football a little bit."

Although his set shot goalkicking continues to be wayward (he booted four behinds against the Giants), Daniher has kicked 14 goals this season and in the second year of his career is the Bombers' focal point in attack.

"You can tell it does let the team down quite significantly when you do miss easy goals," he said.

"And as a forward you should be kicking them. It's something I'm working on now, quite fiercely, and I'm looking to change that as quick as I can."

The 20-year-old has played every game this season after five in his debut year of 2013.

"He has shown glimpses of his potential, he is young but he is a true professional. He works hard, he trains even harder and he takes the game on," Essendon coach Mark Thompson said.
 
"It's exciting to see someone with a big future, and that's Joe. While he does still have a long way to go, we have no doubt he will help our football club for many years."

The last time Essendon had consecutive Rising Star nominees was in round 19 and 20, 1993, when Ricky Olarenshaw and Mark Mercuri were nominated. Earlier in 1993 James Hird and Dustin Fletcher also achieved consecutive nominations in rounds eight and nine. 

The Bombers have won four of their past five games and are in striking distance of the top eight, but could be without captain Jobe Watson for the rest of the season with a hip tendon injury. 

Daniher said Watson's absence will test the Bombers.

"It's really disappointing the way Jobe went down the way he did, we didn't think it was going to be as bad as it was," Daniher said.

"The way that we've got to look at it is that's it's just an opportunity for someone else to come in and it's a good opportunity for our leaders to stand up."

Junior club – Aberfeldie
TAC club – Calder Cannons