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Demon days almost over for Daniher

Posted June 28, 2007 12:04:00
Updated June 28, 2007 14:07:00

On the way out ... Neale Daniher will coach his last Melbourne game against Essendon on Friday night

On the way out ... Neale Daniher will coach his last Melbourne game against Essendon on Friday night (AAP: Julian Smith)

Melbourne has announced that coach Neale Daniher will not see out the rest of the season but will instead step down after tomorrow night's round 13 AFL match against Essendon.

Daniher said yesterday that he would not be seeking a new contract with the Demons when his contract ran out at the end of this season, but that he expected to remain as coach until the end of the season.

However, today Demons chairman Paul Gardner said Daniher would only coach one more game before handing over to caretaker coach Mark Riley, who has been Daniher's assistant this season.

Gardner said the earlier departure was better for all parties.

"We see this Friday as a great opportunity for our players, our members and the fans of both Essendon and Melbourne to show their appreciation for the Daniher decade," he said.

"We wish Neale all the best for his future, inside and outside of football."

Gardner denied the club had mishandled Daniher's departure by asking him to re-apply for his job as part of an overall club review.

"What we asked him to do is, we indicated a process ... and I had gone through that process with Neale," he said.

"He accepted the process, but then he decided not to go forth with that process. It was an exclusive arrangement so he certainly wasn't in any competitive situation."

Yesterday, Daniher said he would coach again in the AFL despite moving on from Melbourne.

There is already speculation he could be interested in taking over from Chris Connolly at Fremantle next year, but Daniher said it was too early to start talking about the future.

The 46-year-old said on Wednesday he had no sour grapes, just disappointment.

"No bitterness whatsoever ... I've had a fantastic run at a great club," he said.

"I'm disappointed where we are at the moment obviously but I did my best. Circumstances unfolded this year and we just haven't been able to quite get it right."

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