A strong and physical defender, Danielle Hardiman is often the player tasked with matching up on the opposition’s tallest, most imposing forward, and it’s a task she regularly completes to near perfection.
A brilliant contested player, Hardiman is rarely beaten in marking contests, and if she fails to win the mark herself, she ably brings it to ground. North’s defensive general in the back half of the ground, Hardiman’s football IQ and ability to position her teammates is key in putting out fires before they start. Her AFLW quality extends to before her time at Arden Street, a strong two seasons at Carlton saw her perfectly placed to be the leader in North’s defence from the team’s inaugural game in 2019, and her ability to aid in the development of the likes of Jas Ferguson, Tahlia Randall and Brooke Brown cannot be underestimated. Voted into the Kangaroos’ leadership group for the first time in 2022, but injuries and health and safety protocols saw her in and out of the side across the season, playing just seven games. While Jas Ferguson stepped up in her absence, Hardiman’s ability to marshal the defence was missed in the games she didn’t play. The stop/start nature of her campaign saw her struggle to find consistency this season, but her experience and application shone through as she stuck to her task admirably in each contest.