By Todd Whelan
The Darley Football Club has secured the prized signature of delisted Carlton midfielder Nick Graham ahead of its 100th year in football.
Graham put pen to paper to join his brother Brian at the Devils den for season 2019 in a major coup for the club.
Devils coach Heath Scotland was rapt with the news.
“Nick will have a huge impact I’m sure of it.” he said.
“He averaged 30 odd disposals and near two goals per game playing as an inside mid for the Northern Blues in the VFL this year.”
“Nick is a hard worker, excellent on the spread and will also set an example to the entire group on the track.”
The 24-year old amassed 48 games in his six seasons at the Carlton Football Club including 10 (games) this year averaging 16+ disposals over his career at the top level.
Scotland spent almost two seasons with Graham in the twilight of his 268 game AFL career. Only 26 players are ahead of Scotland for total games played with the famous navy Blues.
“Fortunately, I was able to meet Brian Graham through Nick at Carlton and later lure him to Darley. He’s a star as well, I can’t wait to see the boys together in battle wearing the black and white,” Scotland said.
“Nick has also been appointed ‘midfield’ coach which is a real bonus for us.
“I’ll be putting as much time into improving and developing the young talent as I can.
“There’s some huge growth potential from within this young group on the back of their first taste of senior footy this year.”
Scotland too, now 38, will be giving himself every chance to be ready for next year both as a player and a coach.
“My body just let me down this year which was really frustrating given the injuries we already had.
“I’m going to get myself right and give it another crack.”
Season 2019 for the Devils will take on extra significance in its centurion year, one which hasn’t been missed by the coach.
“I’m very proud to have the responsibility of leading this club in its 100th season,” Scotland said.
“Darley has been the best club that I have been involved with at any level.”
The 2017 Premiers will also be buoyed by the return of Matt Inglis, Leigh Spiteri and a fully fit Jake Edwards – all of whom fell victim to the Devils wretched run with injury in season 2018.
The Devils have lost key ruckman Dylan Reid who has returned to Queensland while swingman Rhys Ellis is likely to miss the season with a preference to travel.