Russell Robertson and David Nietz with Neale Daniher after his last game as Melbourne coach in 2007. Daniher has been diagnosed with a serious medical problem. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo
A serious health issue has forced Neale Daniher to resign his position as football operations boss of West Coast.
The former Essendon star and Melbourne coach broke the news of his illness to the Eagles' executive on Wednesday. He plans to remain at the club for up to 12 months before returning to Melbourne later next year.
While Daniher had confided the nature of his condition – which he requested remain confidential – to close friends and relatives, he officially revealed his plans to the club after medical advice.
Daniher plans to oversee the transition of his successor, current Eagles list manager Craig Vozzo, over the coming months. Although Essendon was interested in Daniher returning to the club to rebuild its football operation, the former Bomber has confirmed to the Eagles he would remain at West Coast until returning to Melbourne with his family.
"Unfortunately, I do need to focus a lot of energy on my own health and well being at this stage," Daniher said in a club statement.
‘‘The role of football operations general manager is quite demanding.
‘‘I don’t believe I could commit the time needed to be effective, so it is important to recognise that and bring someone in who can contribute as required.
‘‘I will assist Craig during the transition period and will remain with the club, doing what I can to ensure we improve quickly.’’
The club has committed to supporting Daniher and his family through his illness.
“I have been aware of – and talking to Neale – about his personal position for the last few months,” West Coast chief executive Trevor Nisbett said in the statement.
“Neale has made an outstanding contribution to the football club in the very demanding role of general manager of football operations, but he needs to focus on his own health.
“He has been leading the way with the review of the football department for the last month or so and has provided some strong direction for the future.
“While he needs to peel back his own work commitments, he will remain in an administrative role at the club and will support Craig’s transition into the role."