- Laidley reportedly committed to returning to coaching
- Considering putting name forward for Eagles AFLW job
- Last served as senior coach for Kangaroos in 2009
Former North Melbourne head coach Dani Laidley is strongly considering a return to the top ranks of the sport and is on the verge of putting her name forward for the newly vacant West Coast AFLW job, it has been reported.
Laidley, 56, played 151 AFL matches across a 10-year career with the Eagles and North Melbourne, winning a premiership with the latter in 1996.
Her coaching term with the Kangaroos spanned 149 games across seven seasons from 2003 to 2009, and Laidley later held coaching roles with Port Adelaide, St Kilda and Carlton.
Sports commentator Tim Gossage took to Twitter on Tuesday to announce that Laidley was ‘seriously considering’ applying for the West Coast AFLW job after previous coach Michael Prior quit his post.
While speaking on SEN WA Breakfast, Gossage announced that Laidley is committed to returning to a coaching role.
Ex-North Melbourne coach Dani Laidley is reportedly on the verge of making a stunning return to footy’s top ranks
Laidley is thinking about putting her hand up for the vacant AFLW job with the Eagles
Gossage believes that it is now up to West Coast if they want to go with the footy great.
‘I’ll go as far to say my information is that it’ll be over to the West Coast Eagles to decide whether Dani Ladley is their next coach,’ Gossage said.
‘I 100 per cent believe Dani Laidley is committed to return to coaching.
‘Not to a point where she wants to be full-time at the AFL men’s level, but Laidley mixes time between Perth and Melbourne, so it’s either going to be North Melbourne or West Coast where she was going to put her hand up.
‘She wants to coach again, has great footy intel [intelligence] … she believes she is ready to get back into coaching at a high level and AFLW would be it.
‘That’s as the senior coach, not assistant, but as senior coach. She is a very good coach.’
Laidley attended a West Coast training session while the Eagles were preparing for their clash against Geelong in the Gather Round last season.
She was snapped talking to star midfielder Andrew Gaff and some of his teammates, and she also spoke to members of the coaching staff including Eagles boss Adam Simpson.
West Coast AFLW coach Michael Prior quit his post last Wednesday (pictured, the Eagles’ women’s team run out for their match against the Bulldogs last Saturday)
Laidley (pictured during his time in charge of North Melbourne) reportedly wants to return to coaching at a high level
A prominent LGBTQI+ advocate since transitioning three years ago, the former hard-nosed defender has revealed the support of some former players and coaches ‘filled her with joy’ after coming out as a transgender woman.
She singled out West Coast legend Mick Malthouse and a host of former Kangaroos teammates as those who she has positively reconnected with.
Malthouse, one of the greatest AFL mentors of all time, coached Laidley at the Eagles, and she said a chance meeting with him at an AFL game last June was a special experience
‘I turn and there he [Malthouse] is standing with his arms out and he says: “Give me a hug”. We had a hug and he said: “Gee, you’re looking great, I’m really proud of you,”‘ Laidley told News Corp.
‘That’s the type of person Mick Malthouse is. It filled me with joy.’
Laidley last worked as a senior coach with North Melbourne in 2009 – and as an assistant coach with Carlton in 2015.