110. Danny Ling

Player Inductee

Glenorchy, Rover/Coach, 1976-91

276 games, 383 goals for Glenorchy, 1976-90
Glenorchy captain, 1984-87
Glenorchy coach, 1985-87, 1990-91 (108 games: 60 wins, 47 losses, 1 draw)
Glenorchy TANFL/TFL premierships, 1985, 1986
23 representative matches for Tasmania, 1978-87
Glenorchy ‘Team of the Century’ (forward pocket)
Dodges Ferry senior coach, 2005-10
Dodges Ferry SFL Regional League premiership coach, 2006
Tasmanian Devils assistant coach, 2001-03

Arguably the finest rover of his generation, Danny Ling was a permanent and popular fixture of the Glenorchy sides that enjoyed great success in the TANFL from the late 1970s to early 1990s.

Born in 1957, Danny Ling had played several seasons at underage level with both Claremont and Glenorchy before making his senior debut with Glenorchy in 1976 at the age of 19. His first season with the Magpies was to be the start of a successful but strange era for the club, in that they were consistently amongst the top clubs in the competition but just could not get the chocolates on grand final day. Indeed, during Ling’s 15 seasons with Glenorchy from 1976-90, Glenorchy would contest 12 TANFL/TFL grand finals but would win only three of them, including losing five in a row between 1976 and 1980. Despite the lack of team success during the period, Ling came to forge a reputation as not only a magnificent rover but also one of the finest overall players in the competition as well. Bestowed the nickname ‘Cockroach’ due to his diminutive 162cm stature as well as his innate ability to burrow into packs and scamper away with the ball, his skills both through the middle of the ground and around goal meant that as well as being one of the Magpies’ most valuable players for well over a decade, he was also a regular Tasmanian representative, playing 23 times for his state over 10 years. Surprisingly, he never won a Glenorchy Best and Fairest, although given some of the other stars around the club at the time – such as Hudson, Dykes and Linton – it is perhaps understandable.

As good a player as he was, Ling’s reputation was enhanced after he turned his hand to coaching. After Garry Davidson left the club at the end of Ling’s first year as captain in 1984, Ling was appointed as his replacement. Most viewed him as only something of a caretaker until a coach of greater reputation was found to fill the void, however Ling comprehensively proved all the doubters wrong, leading his side to a stunning four-point win over Clarence in the grand final. Having secured back-to-back flags in the first year of the Statewide League in 1986, Ling’s tenure as coach ended after the 1987 grand final loss to North Hobart. After another two seasons as a player in 1988-89 Ling was re-appointed coach for what turned out to be his final year as a player in 1990. This time however there would be no grand final appearances, with Glenorchy missing the finals in both of Ling’s years in charge during his second stint as coach in 1990-91. Ling’s total of 276 remains in the top three for games played for the club, and his enormous on-field contribution was recognised in 2000 when he was named in a forward pocket in the official New Town/Glenorchy ‘Team of the Century’.

Post-coaching, Ling remained actively involved with the club for a number of years. It didn’t take long for the coach in him to resurface however, firstly as a bench coach with Glenorchy for their 1999 TSFL premiership team, and then taking on assistant roles with Tasmania in the VFL in 2001 and Dodges Ferry in the SFL in 2004. In 2005 he was appointed senior coach of Dodges Ferry, guiding the club for six seasons – including to the 2006 SFL Regional League premiership – before resigning at the end of 2010. He later became bench coach of Brighton under his son Jamie, who he had coached at Dodges Ferry.