More than a quarter of a century ago, Daniel Harford and Daniel Lowther were members of Parade College’s all-conquering 1st XVIII, which belted Essendon Grammar in taking the Herald-Sun Shield home from the MCG.
But from next year the great Australian game will pit the two Dans against eachother – Harford as the Senior Coach of Carlton’s AFLW team; Lowther as the newly-appointed Senior Coach of Geelong’s AFLW outfit.
Daniel’s new role, effective from July 1, was confirmed in a statement released by Geelong on Tuesday (June 29). The 34-game former Geelong midfielder, who this year supported the AFLW team as Assistant Coach, replaces the club’s inaugural AFLW Senior Coach Paul Hood, who stepped away at the conclusion of the season.
Six years ago, Daniel joined the club as an Assistant Coach of the VFL men’s side, a position he held until 2018 when he became a full-time AFL analyst.
This year he returned to full-time primary school teaching, which he combined with coaching duties as an AFLW club assistant.
“I’ll bring energy and enthusiasm, one of my strengths is working with people and relationships (and) knowing the group for 12 months already is going to kick-start that aspect,” Daniel said.
“Knowing the girls’ strengths and weaknesses already, we will hit the ground running in the areas we need to improve on.”
Geelong’s head of AFLW Brett Johnson said of Dan’s appointment: “It was evident that Dan was the right person to influence the next chapter of our journey on-field, and embrace the opportunities to promote the program and the role it plays in shaping positive outcomes in the community”.
“Dan brings a diverse set of skills and experience to the role including a Masters of Education, 15 years of teaching experience, coaching in the talent pathway and various roles at the Cats across both women’s and men’s programs,” he said.
Daniel followed 1st XVIII Captain Daniel Harford down the race and onto the hallowed Jolimont turf in 1994 for the Herald-Sun Shield Grand Final, in what was a curtain-raiser to the Round 5 match between Essendon and Collingwood under lights. That night, Parade clinically secured the Shield for the second-year in succession, with what was a 102-point belting of the Grammarians.
“This side would go down as one of the greatest teams in the College’s history”, the captain noted in his Captain’s Report for the 1994 edition of The Paradian – and given the inclusions of future AFL footballers Lowther, Blake Caracella (now an AFL Assistant to Senior Coach Ben Rutten at Essendon), Jarrod Molloy and Harford himself, few would argue.
The Old Paradians' Association congratulates Daniel on his appointment as Senior Coach of Geelong's AFLW team.
Images: from left to right: Parade's 1st XVIII Herald-Sun Shield winning teammates of 1994 Blake Caracella, Daniel Harford and Daniel Lowther at the Old Paradians’ Association’s Pride of Parade function at Bell City on the night of Friday, November 4, 2011; and the Herald Sun Shield winners on the MCG on the night of Saturday, April 23, 1994.