Australia

Dons poach Dogs assistant Giansiracusa

Essendon have poached highly rated Western Bulldogs assistant coach Daniel Giansiracusa.

The former Dogs forward will join the Dons' coaching staff for 2021.

Daniel Giansiracusa celebrates a goal during his playing days for the Bulldogs.

Daniel Giansiracusa celebrates a goal during his playing days for the Bulldogs.Credit:Sebastian Costanzo

Giansiracusa was last week named AFL Coaches Association assistant coach of the year.

He has spent six years on the Dogs' coaching staff, having joined the club's coaching panel immediately after retiring from playing at the end of 2014. He took over as the club's VFL coach last year and was supposed to continue into 2020. But with the abandonment of the state league competition, he coached the club's match simulation games and worked on opposition analysis.

Giansiracusa joins a revamped Dons coaching panel led by incoming senior coach Ben Rutten. Mark Harvey has shifted out of a formal coaching position into a broader role across the club.

It is unclear whether Giansiracua's move is related to the Dons' play for contracted Dogs midfielder Josh Dunkley, however the pair has worked together closely. Giansiracusa served as forwards coach when Dunkley was a forward earlier in his career and was stoppages coach when Dunkley was shifted into the midfield.

The Dogs insist they will not trade Dunkley despite Essendon's bullishness about landing the onballer, who was made to pinch-hit in the ruck at times this year.

Essendon have also been linked to Dunkley's younger brother Kyle, who was delisted this year by Melbourne.

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