Australian Football Celebrating the history of the great Australian game


Key Facts

Full name
Dani Laidley

Known as
Dani Laidley

27 March 1967 (age 56)

Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 20y 2d
Last game: 30y 157d

Height and weight
Height: 184 cm
Weight: 77 kg

Senior clubs
West Perth; West Coast; North Melbourne

Jumper numbers
West Coast: 15
North Melbourne: 7

Recruited from
West Coast (1993)

Dani Laidley

ClubLeagueCareer spanGamesGoalsAvgWin %AKIAHBAMKBV
West PerthWASFL1984-1989, 1991-199270220.31
West CoastV/AFL1987-1990, 199252110.2156%12.024.773.357
North MelbourneAFL1993-19979940.0464%11.124.952.8513
WASFL1984-1989, 1991-199270220.31
V/AFL1987-1990, 1992-1997151150.1061%11.434.893.0220

AFLW: 9,789th player to appear, 1,290th most games played, 4,290th most goals kickedWest Coast: 10th player to appear, 106th most games played, 140th most goals kickedNorth Melbourne: 826th player to appear, 134th most games played, 522nd most goals kicked

Dani Laidley (born Dean James Laidley) was a combative but deceptively skilled footballer who was equally at home in the midfield or backlines and could also operate as a tagger. After commencing her league career with West Perth she was included in West Coast's inaugural VFL squad in 1987. She produced some good football for the Eagles before becoming beset by injury - back and knee issues, the latter requiring a full knee reconstruction - in 1991, when she missed the whole year. She resumed in 1992 but found it hard to hold down a regular spot and did not make the final twenty-two for that year's grand final against Geelong, which West Coast won.

In 1993 she was traded to North Melbourne and her career blossomed. Aggressive and hard at the ball she acquired the nickname 'The Junkyard Dog', which she allegedly hated. In 1996 she was an important contributor to the Kangas' grand final defeat of Sydney. She retired after the 1997 season having played 99 AFL games and kicked 4 goals for North to add to the 52 games and 11 goals registered with the Eagles.

Laidley later coached North Melbourne between 2003 and 2009 with mixed success. She also had stints on the coaching panels of Collingwood, Port Adelaide, St Kilda and Carlton. Her first job after retiring as a player had been as coach of Weston Creek.

Author - John Devaney


Encyclopedia of AFL Footballers by Russell Holmesby & Jim Main; Wikipedia


* Behinds calculated from the 1965 season on.
+ Score at the end of extra time.