By Michaela Meade
A local footy legend will join the mentor ranks of Darley Football Club next season, with Dan Jordan signing on as senior coach for 2022.
Jordan will return to the Ballarat Football League where he stands in the Hall of Fame, following his induction in 2018.
Jordan played with East Point kicking a total of 774 goals in 126 games.
He won the league best and fairest, the Henderson Medal, in 2006 and won the leading goal kicker award five times.
Jordan then joined the Essendon Football Club in 2015 as a VFL assistant coach.
He became the Essendon AFL development coach in 2016-17, and the Essendon VFL head coach in 2018-19, taking the team to preliminary finals twice.
Jordan most recently acted as the Essendon AFL assistant coach in 2020-21.
Jordan now joins the Devils with his extensive football experience and knowledge.
Devils president Mark Shelly said the club was “absolutely ecstatic” about signing Jordan. The Devils finished the 2021 season without a win, with Jordan replacing Dan Roy as coach.
“His resume, knowledge, and experience… is second to none,” Shelly said. “We are well and truly excited.
“It’s well documented that we didn’t have a successful season… we had a massive run of injuries, and ran through I think about 47 different players.
“We had to use some under-19s, even some under-17s.
“So, as a result of that, we felt we needed to target someone who would set the benchmark where we needed to be.
“You can’t get much better than someone like Dan.”
Shelly said it was a “massive relief” to pin Jordan down in a mentoring capacity with the club.
“One thing clearly stood out about him in interviews and in all my talks with him – he’s clearly got what I would consider to be exceptional leadership skills,” Shelly said.
“We’ll hone in on those.
“He will be mentoring our younger players as well as the seniors. Dan will spend considerable time with the juniors and their coaches.
“His impact will certainly be felt throughout the whole club.”
Shelly said he looked forward to seeing what Jordan would bring to the Devils, in both the obvious and subtle ways.
He said with him coming from the AFL system, he’ll also bring the latest game styles with him.
“He’ll also really help in our preparations… all of that peripheral stuff.
“It will be good in getting us to a higher level.
“Having players prepared not just physically, but mentally as well.”
Shelly said having Jordan involved in such a senior and public capacity would entice new players to learn his “pearls of wisdom”.
The club will look to recruit some players in key areas.
“Those other dominoes will fall into place easier with Dan on board.”
Shelley said he was looking forward to what the new season would bring.
“We want the [DFC] to become a destination club [again], where people are excited to come and play with us,” he said.
“We’re very excited. We can’t wait for season 2022 and to see what we can accomplish.”