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Ex-Docker 'finding his feet' at the Demons

Ben Guthrie  December 7, 2017 3:54 PM

AFL 2017 Training - Melbourne 011217

New Demon Harley Balic

MELBOURNE recruit Harley Balic will be given time to fit into his new surroundings at the Demons with his new club conscious of how much football he missed during his time with Fremantle. 

Balic, who turns 21 in January, played four games in two seasons on the Dockers' list, battling a wrist injury in his first season and twice being granted personal leave during 2017.

Desperately missing home, Balic requested a trade away from Fremantle with Melbourne parting with pick No.66 in the 2017 NAB AFL Draft for the Victorian.

The Demons secured Balic, who stands at 187cm and 82kg, on a one-year contract.

"Harley's finding his feet in the footy club," Demons assistant coach Ben Mathews told AFL.com.au

"He's settling back into Melbourne, he's got his family over here, his girlfriend. 

"It's never easy changing clubs and especially a young player who has had to go through some things."

Positively, Balic has been in full training with the main group and has been training with the forwards which looks like his likely position for 2018 and beyond. 

Balic spent time playing in the midfield for Peel Thunder, the Dockers' WAFL affilitate, and showed his ability to win the footy consistently for Peel last year. 

However, the two lots of personal leave he was granted and a hamstring tear he suffered at training in July affected his continuity.

"Harley's training with the main group, which is important and it'll take the whole pre-season for him to really find his feet, because young players just do," Mathews said. 

"We're really confident that Harley will fit in really strongly."

Balic, originally pick No.38 in the 2015 NAB AFL Draft, had two operations on his wrist before he arrived at Fremantle, and a third midway through his first season at the Dockers.

The youngster, a talented junior basketballer, fractured the scaphoid bone in his left wrist while attempting to dunk a ball at school in 2013 which caused the complications. 

Balic kicked three goals and averaged 13 disposals in his four games for Fremantle after making his debut against the Western Bulldogs in round three.