Mid-game photo of Essendon’s Joe Daniher has AFL world divided

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Essendon forward Joe Daniher has divided opinion in the footy world after he sat on the fence midway through the Bombers loss against West Coast on Tuesday night.

Daniher helped teammate Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti mark to set up a 45-metre shot on goal during the third quarter, and then jogged to the fence behind the goals and took a seat.

Watch the moment in the video above

McDonald-Tipungwuti kicked the goal but Daniher’s decision raised the eyebrows of former premiership players Jordan Lewis and Jonathon Brown.

Four-time premiership Hawk Lewis said it was important to understand Daniher’s personality before casting too many stones.

“He is (unique) and you’ve got to take that quirkiness, (but) it could be seen by some as not getting your head into the game,” Lewis said on Fox Footy.

Joe Daniher sitting on the fence while teammate Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti lines up for goal from 45 metres out.
Joe Daniher sitting on the fence while teammate Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti lines up for goal from 45 metres out. Credit: Channel 7

“I know when Browny and I saw that come on the TV, we did look at each other. I think we’re a bit old school and we probably wouldn’t like that from a teammate point of view.

“Sitting on the fence (he) probably could’ve only got to the goalline, but if it falls short of the goalline and he doesn’t make that contest, well that’s a serious issue.

“He’s lucky the goal went through and it’s as far as the conversation goes, but sometimes it’s not a good look.”

Brown won three straight premierships at the Lions under Leigh Mathews and he said the act wouldn’t have sat well with the legendary Brisbane coach.

Essendon's Joe Daniher
Joe Daniher celebrated his return to AFL action with three goals in Essendon’s win over Hawthorn. Credit: AAP

“The old coach Leigh Matthews used to say ‘perception is reality’ – and sometimes the perception about Joe is that he doesn’t care about the game enough or he’s not fully invested in the game and he doesn’t love football,” Brown said.

“When you see actions like that, perception is reality and that’s why people come to those conclusions.

“We know Joe’s head was in the game, but that’s the perception you draw from the man sitting at the back of the grandstand.”

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