Ex-Demon on ‘Dec’: Keilty signing a boost for Bentleigh

Declan Keilty was a player in demand after being delisted by Melbourne at the end of last season but the Southern league Demons trumped all comers for his signature.

Moorabbin Glen Eira Leader

May 13, 2020 12:30pm

Declan Keilty marks for Melbourne against Richmond’s Jack Graham in last season’s JLT series.

The destination is Bentleigh. The source is the AFL.

Not often does a player join the SFNL directly from league football, so it was presumably with great satisfaction that Bentleigh lodged its clearance for delisted Melbourne big man Declan Keilty.

Recruiting is often a frustrating and fickle business for clubs.

In the case of the delisted AFL Demon becoming a Southern Demon, it was all done quickly and quietly.

Bentleigh announced Keilty’s arrival at its presentation night early last October; it would have been entitled to award itself a trophy for pulling off such a coup.

Only a few weeks earlier Keilty had been let go by Melbourne, and as a 196cm player capable of slotting into the forward and backlines and even the ruck, he was a young man in demand.

But his friendship with Bentleigh player Ashley Di Ciero and the fact he was living locally (at Murrumbeena) kicked in for the Demons.

He had even dropped in to watch the club during the season.

“Ash is one of my good mates from school,’’ Keilty was saying on Tuesday.