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The name Neale Daniher is synonymous with Australian Football. He has excelled in all facets of the game – initially as a player, then as a coach and now as a respected administrator.

One part of a famous football family, he and his three brothers played with distinction at Essendon and created history by representing the Bombers in the same game in September 1990. The others, of course, being Terry, Anthony and Chris.

Neale started his playing career with the Essendon Football Club in 1979 and went onto play 82 senior games before injury curtailed his playing days.  A gifted footballer, he successfully made the transition into coaching, taking on assistant positions at Essendon and Fremantle, before joining Melbourne as senior coach for the 1998 season.

Neale grew up with three brothers and seven sisters on a farm in Ungarie, NSW.  All four boys went on to play for the Essendon Football Club.  Due to marketing of the club through the media Neale has now been bestowed with the nickname “The Rev” by the football media.

In 2007 he concluded his 10th and final season as coach of the Melbourne Football Club. In doing so he became the third longest serving coach of the club, behind the legendary Norm Smith and ‘Checker’ Hughes.  With 223 games and six finals – including the 200 grand final against his original club, Neale cemented his place as one of the finest coaches of the modern era.

Football flows through the veins of Neale Daniher and he was also president and CEO of the AFL Coaches Association, assisting with the development of the next generation, always available to guide and advise.

After handing over the coaching reins at the Demons, Neale made a fresh start to life in football administration as the General Manager – Football Operations at the West Coast Eagles.

He served with distinction in that capacity from 2008-2013, opting to scale back his commitments after being diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease. He continued to play an important role within the club, particularly as a mentor and confidante to first year senior coach Adam Simpson.

West Coast has attributed Neale with playing a key role in the transition from long-serving club legend John Worsfold into a new era with Simpson in what was a seamless and respectful transition.

In 2015 Neale joined the Cure for MND Foundation as patron and Vice Chairman.


  • Played 82 games for Essendon, B&F 1981, Captain 1982

  • Assistant Coach at Essendon 1992-1994 (1993 AFL Premiership)

  • Assistant Coach at Fremantle 1995-1997

  • State of Origin Coach ‘Allies’ 1996 -97

  • Coached 223 games at Melbourne (1998 -2007 six finals series, GF runner up 2000)

  • Third longest serving coach at Melbourne behind Norm Smith and ‘Checker’ Hughes.

  • Inaugural president of AFL Coach’s Association (AFLCA)

  • 2007 - 2008 CEO of the AFLCA

  • 2008-13 General Manager – Football Operations West Coast Eagles

  • 2014 Football Administrator West Coast Eagles

  • 2015 – ongoing Patron and Vice Chairman of Cure for MND Foundation

  • 2016 Awarded with a Member of the Order of Australia ‘AM’ award for services to community Health and in particular people suffering with MND and to Australian Rules Football.

  • 2016 Herald Sun ‘Pride of Australia’ recipient

  • 2016 Victorian Finalist ‘Australian of the Year’