27 March 1967 (age 55)
Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 20y 2d
Last game: 30y 157d
Height and weight
Height: 184 cm
Weight: 77 kg
West Coast (1993)
|Club||League||Career span||Games||Goals||Avg||Win %||AKI||AHB||AMK||BV|
|West Perth||WASFL||1984-1989, 1991-1992||70||22||0.31||—||—||—||—||—|
|West Coast||V/AFL||1987-1990, 1992||52||11||0.21||56%||12.02||4.77||3.35||7|
AFL: 9,789th player to appear, 1,242nd most games played, 4,227th most goals kickedWest Coast: 10th player to appear, 103rd most games played, 138th most goals kickedNorth Melbourne: 826th player to appear, 134th most games played, 516th 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