Recruited by Collingwood as a 17 year old, Dane was the bargain pick of the 2001 Draft at Pick 58. Never regarded as a deep thinker of footy in his junior days, Dane was happy to be out there playing with his mates and never really thought about the prospects of being recruited to an AFL club. This was especially the case as he thought at least one more season of junior footy to go.
Fast forward a decade and over 200 AFL games later, Dane’s CV reads better than almost all players in the current game. Three Collingwood Best & Fairest awards, Brownlow Medal, five All Australian jumpers, and a Premiership later, Collingwood would certainly be happy with Dane’s recruitment so late in the draft.
Dane is an easy going person who never lets anything get the better of him. Whilst he has a laid back nature to his friends and the media, there is a steely resolve and extremely driven character that lay underneath. Unfortunately Dane’s laid back nature was severely tested at the beginning of the 2016 season when he ultimately incurred a career ending injury. Coming onto the ground during the early stages of Collingwood’s opening game of the season agains the Swans, Dane flew for a mark landing awkwardly on his foot after tangling with young Swans player, Zac Jones mid air. The end result was numerous broken bones in Dane’s foot, ankle, and leg, including the his lisfranc which is usually suffered in car accidents, such was the trauma of the injury.
Doing his best throughout his rehabilition and recovery, Dane was ambitious and optimistic about getting back to playing the game he loves, however unfortunately he risked further damage if he returned which would impact his quality of life in years to come. Keen to drift off into the AFL sunset relatively unnoticed, the Collingwood Football club foiled his plans by giving one of their club champions a terrific send off in style.
With his playing days now over, Dane has already released a book ‘My Story’ detailing the successes and tough times he experienced throughout his colourful AFL career, and he will also look to embark on a media career. Dane will also utilise his time by devoting more focus into his business interests which include a clothing range, Tattoo shop, and a Bar which is set to open in early 2017. However before he can focus on that, Dane has taken on the South African jungle on Channel 10’s ‘Im A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here’.