Terry Daniher puts the boots on for Ungarie’s 100 year celebrations

Brothers Chris and Terry Daniher

Essendon legend and 313 AFL game player Terry Daniher will return to his home town of Ungarie to play in the Northern Riverina round nine match against West Wyalong-Girral this weekend.

The small township of Ungarie, located in Central West NSW will hold a 100 year celebration for the Football Club this weekend. Along with the highly anticipated game, the club will hold a black and white ball on Sunday Night. Daniher is looking forward to the weekend’s festivities “It will be good, I’m just looking forward to catching up with a lot of the guys I used to play with. A lot of people have put a fair bit of work into the celebrations this weekend and it’s appreciated.”

A hesitant Daniher has a few conditions before he wears the Magpies guernsey for the first time in 40 years “I’m not going to put any young blokes out. I’ll wait and see how the conditions are too, I’d rather be standing around the fire than running around but I’m happy to help out where I can.”

The Daniher family have an extensive history with the Ungarie Magpies dating back to Terry’s grandfather Jim Daniher Snr. in 1913. Jim was an instrumental player who lead the team to their first premiership in 1923. Terry’s father Jim Daniher Jnr. also had a deep involvement with the club winning the Northern Riverina’s Best and Fairest on three separate occasions. A member of the Daniher family has participated in every decade since the Northern Riverina League commenced.

A highlight in Daniher’s career with Ungarie was joining his father in the 1973 grand final “I grew up at a time when the club was going along pretty well and in 1973 we played in the grand final, where we lost to Lake Cargelligo, that year I was lucky enough to play alongside my father.”

Daniher is grateful to the Ungarie community for pursuing with his home club through tough times “It’s important that we keep the side going. Back in my day we had large numbers but the landscape has changed dramatically. In 2014, we nearly closed the doors on the club, we were really struggling to keep the numbers up. It was thanks to players like Kyle Archibald and his family who made the effort to come back to Ungarie to help the club. We finished up in the Grand Final the next year, which was a testament to those guys. It’s through the efforts of guys like Kyle that are travelling back from Canberra, Albury and Yarrawonga that help strengthen the club and keep the Ungarie Football Club alive.”

Chris Daniher, former Essendon player has faith his 58 year old brother will step up on Saturday “I think he will be fine he still plays basketball and tennis, I guess the big thing is to get through the game without getting hurt.” Chris who still plays for Ungarie, believes Terry’s one-off game will benefit the club “it’s great for the club and the league, to get the word out there for small communities and clubs.”

Ungarie is currently sitting third on the Northern Riverina ladder and Terry thinks now is the time for the Magpies to kick into gear “On their day they will be very competitive, like a lot of the clubs up there it’s all week to week. I think now that all of the cropping is done, it will free a lot of the players up and they can focus on footy rather than sitting on tractors. They have no excuses now they have to come back to training and get themselves prepared for finals in late August.”

As the for the future, Daniher has no plans to return to the elite AFL “probably not, I have 4 grand kids, that keeps me pretty busy” and he is confident he will be involved in local footy for years to come “To be still involved in footy is great, I’m very lucky. I’m just happy to help out where I can, I want to give back to footy.”

When asked about the future of Essendon he said “I’ll always keep a eye on the bombers.”

Ungarie Football Club at training on Thursday night, joined by Terry Daniher.

Ungarie Football Club at training on Thursday night, joined by Terry Daniher.