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Harley ready for new ride

Matt Burgan  October 19, 2017 4:49 PM

I’m stoked. I just want to get started, because I’ve had a lot of time off and a couple of months off this year and I’m ready to get into pre-season

HARLEY Balic says he’s “over the moon and pretty excited” to join Melbourne, after returning to Victoria earlier in the year, after being with Fremantle since the 2015 NAB AFL Draft.

Balic, who missed the entire 2016 AFL home and away season with a wrist injury, but played in the WAFL finals and in a premiership with Peel Thunder, before making his AFL debut and playing four games in 2017, said he was rapt to be back in his home town.

“There was a bit going on. I missed the first year with my scaphoid – I had my third operation on it. I was just running laps for the first year and I found it hard to mingle with everyone, being in rehab,” he told melbournefc.com.au.

“I started getting really homesick and started going through some personal stuff, which was really hard to deal with away from home. There was a little bit of support, but no immediate family.

“I played [four] games, which I was happy with and then it got a bit much with how I was feeling and then I thought I’d come back and regather myself, and hopefully get another contract here, where I knew I’d thrive and enjoy my footy.”

The 20-year-old said he simply wanted to be near his family and friends.

“I’ve got my girlfriend over here, Mum and Dad and two brothers I’m pretty close with and all of my mates live within a couple of streets or a suburb or two away, so if you go through downs or ups – you’ve got people to share it with, which is something I couldn’t do over there [in Perth],” he said.

“After playing games, I didn’t have those moments to share them with and when things went wrong, I didn’t have anyone. It’s good to just lean on people.

“I just feel a lot better being here and a lot more comfortable.”

Balic said he was rapt to be reunited with former Sandringham Dragon teammate Angus Brayshaw.

“I was bottom age and he was top age, but I learned a lot from him, but I knew he was a gun. We were pretty close at Sandy, so it’ll be good to catch up with him, because I haven’t seen him in a while,” he said.

A midfielder/high half-forward, Balic said he couldn’t wait to start his career with Melbourne.

“I’m stoked. I just want to get started, because I’ve had a lot of time off and a couple of months off this year and I’m ready to get into pre-season,” he said.

“I want to start training and playing again.

“I’m excited.”