Joe Daniher during's Brisbane game against Richmond in round 20, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

BRISBANE has called on Joe Daniher to work harder on his defensive craft as the Lions seek to end their premiership drought.

The Lions won two finals this year but were thrashed by eventual premiers Geelong in the preliminary final.

Daniher, who missed Brisbane's semi-final upset of Melbourne due to the birth of his first child, came under heavy scrutiny for his performance against the Cats.

Joe Daniher after Brisbane's defeat to Geelong in the 2022 preliminary final. Picture: AFL Photos

The mercurial 28-year-old booted the match-winning goal in the Lions' thrilling elimination-final win against Richmond and is one of the AFL's most exciting forwards when on song.

But Lions football manager Danny Daly believes Daniher, who needed end-of-season shoulder surgery, can dramatically lift certain areas of his game.

"If we're going to become a premiership contender, and a premiership side that we want to be, we need all our players working harder and getting better," Daly told AFL Trade Radio on Thursday.


"He was a bit restricted (with his shoulder injury) in his ability to be able to put his hands right up and mark the football, but he played and when you play, you're 100 per cent fit.

"But he needs to work a lot harder and be in the game for longer periods."

Daniher, who arrived from Essendon during the 2020 trade period, will be even more important next year after fellow key forward Daniel McStay's move to Collingwood.

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But Daniher and Eric Hipwood are likely to be joined up forward by Jack Gunston next year with the three-time Hawthorn premiership player seeking a trade to the Queensland capital.

"We feel that the good key forwards, if they work hard defensively, they stay in the game offensively," Daly said of Daniher.

"There's no doubt we feel if he works a lot harder on his defence, that will help his overall game. So that was the gist of the conversation with (Daniher) in his exit meeting."

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The Lions have qualified for the past four finals series but are still searching for their first grand-final appearance since 2004.

Next year will be the 20th anniversary of the Lions' famous third consecutive premiership.