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Melbourne Football Club

Balic joins Melbourne from Freo

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
Josh Mahoney

MELBOURNE has secured midfielder Harley Balic from Fremantle on Wednesday morning.

In recruiting Balic, Melbourne has given Fremantle selection No.66 in this year’s NAB AFL Draft.  

General manager of football operations Josh Mahoney said Melbourne had monitored Balic closely.

“National recruiting manager Jason Taylor and the recruiting team tracked Harley quite closely throughout his draft year,” he told melbournefc.com.au.

“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’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.”

Originally drafted at pick No.38 in the 2015 NAB AFL Draft, from Mordialloc-Braeside/Sandringham Dragons, Balic missed most of his first season at Fremantle with a wrist injury.

But he returned to play in the WAFL finals, where he averaged 19 disposals and played in Peel Thunder’s premiership.

Previously a member of the NAB AFL Academy, Balic was an under-18 All-Australian in 2015, after an outstanding championship for Vic Metro.

In round three 2017, he made his AFL debut for Fremantle against the Western Bulldogs at Domain Stadium.

His second game was against Melbourne at the MCG in round four, where he kicked his first AFL goal and Fremantle won by two points.

He had 19 disposals and booted a goal in his third match against the West Coast Eagles at Domain Stadium in round five, before playing his fourth and final game for Fremantle against Essendon in round seven at Subiaco.

On May 17, this year, Balic was granted indefinite leave from Fremantle due to personal reasons.  

Now, the 20-year-old, 187cm tall has been added to Melbourne’s squad, where he will further strengthen the club’s midfield/forward depth.