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AFL 2017 Round 04 - Melbourne v Fremantle

Harley Balic is now a Demon

Keep up with all the deals with the Trade Tracker
All the latest trade and free agency news
Indicative draft order: Keep up to date with all the picks
Who's hanging up the boots? Keep track of 2017's retirements and delistings
 

HARLEY Balic has been secured by Melbourne on a one-year contract after the club sent pick No.66 to Fremantle on Wednesday morning.

Balic joins the Demons after two seasons with the Dockers, who drafted the Victorian with pick No.38 in the 2015 NAB AFL Draft. 

It is Fremantle's second trade this year after sending Hayden Crozier to the Western Bulldogs in exchange for pick No.40 and a swap of future draft selections.

Balic played four senior games in his two years with the Dockers, battling a wrist injury in his first season and twice being granted personal leave in 2017.

He passed a medical test with Melbourne earlier this month and has long been in the Demons' plans after he requested a trade to return to his home state.

"I'd like to thank everyone from the Fremantle Football Club, from Ross and 'Bondy', to Kim Mercer, Mark Anderson, Jason Weber and everyone in between," Balic said.

"I thank the football club for believing in me and drafting me. Not only did they believe in me, they helped shape me as a person on and off the field.

"They helped me overcome a wrist injury, as well as helping me off the field to become a much stronger and overall a much better person.

"I couldn't stress enough how thankful I am to be given the opportunity to pursue a lifelong dream."

Melbourne football manager Josh Mahoney said the Demons had tracked Balic closely in his draft year and had noted his consistency when playing as a forward and then moving into the midfield.

"He played a fair bit of footy forward in his bottom age year and his top age year and then transitioned into the midfield as well, which he’s been able to do in his time at Fremantle," he said.

"He’s come back from a wrist injury, played four AFL games for Fremantle and produced some really solid football in the WAFL for Peel Thunder. He’s a good size for a midfielder and has good spatial awareness – he comes from a basketball background. He can add some depth to our mid/forward half and has the ability to kick goals.

"One thing we’ve noted in our time of watching Harley over the years, he rarely plays a bad game, so he’s been quite consistent."

The Dockers will now turn their focus to securing Greater Western Sydney defender Nathan Wilson in exchange for a future second-round pick in a deal also likely to go through on Wednesday.

The club is locked in negotiations with Gold Coast over contracted youngster Lachie Weller, who has requested a trade to the Suns.

Fremantle has held firm on its demand for pick No.2 in exchange for Weller.

The two clubs are also negotiating a deal to send Suns forward Brandon Matera to Fremantle. 

 

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