DANIEL Harford couldn’t be more excited to be continuing his journey at the Blues, as the current AFLW Senior Coach signed a two-year contract extension ahead of the upcoming season.
Having already held the position for four years, Harford feels a sense of ‘unfinished business’ that he’s built in his time at IKON Park, and is looking forward to putting everything he’s worked on to the test in future seasons.
“My theory was ‘I’ve got work to do and we’ve got work to do’,” Harford said.
“We’ve had to take a step back to go forward in the next couple of years and we need to build this thing again to become the team that we want to be and that takes a little bit of time.”
Relying on the strong relationships he’s built with his playing group and staff, Harford is confident that the development of the program will hold the team in good stead moving forward as they aim to climb the ladder.
Harford always believes the tight-knit group that has been built within the staff and management has helped him work through the challenges that have been thrown at the Club.
“That’s one of the things that excites me about being a part of [the program]: to be able to work with those people, helping our players become the best players they can be,” he said.
“Relationships are really important, as is education and the ability to work on the fly a bit too, so there’s a couple of layers to it. It’s not just moving magnets, there’s a lot to it: we’ve got great people and I’m really excited to be surrounded by them.”
What Harford wants from his side is competitive football and players that can work under his vision and bring their best week in and week out, whether that's new players or those already developing within the Club.
“We want to be contending: we’ve got some real growth in our playing list, you go from being the youngest list last season, we’ll hopefully transform that a bit through the next couple of months, getting ready for season seven and we want to be a really good, attacking, competitive team,” he said.
“That’s the brand we want to play and build into this squad and we’ve got a really good, developing squad that’s going to come with us and be a part of that story.
“If you can compete week in and week out and give your all for us, then you’re perfectly suited to wear navy every weekend.”
As for the extension that will be taking the AFLW competition by storm, Harford admitted that they have to start preparing to keep good players where they can.
With a lot of player movement expected in the next couple of months, Harford notes that it gives them a chance to look around and see what type of talent is floating around the competition.
“It is what it is, it’s really challenging in this environment from an existing club perspective to compete with expansion,” he said.
“We don’t want to lose good players but at the same time, it gives us the opportunity to have a bit of a look around and see what else is out there that we might be able to bring into our program to enhance it so we can take those steps forward.”