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Southern league club Bentleigh locks in former Melbourne AFL tall

The Southern league Demons have signed former AFL Demon Declan Keilty, who played for Melbourne this year.

Moorabbin Kingston Leader

Declan Keilty playing for Melbourne this year.

Declan Keilty is staying a Demon.

In a boost for the Southern league Division 1 competition, the delisted Melbourne key position player has signed at Bentleigh.

Keilty, 24, has spent the past three seasons with the Demons and played two AFL matches this year, making his debut against Hawthorn at the MCG in Round 7.

He was drafted from Melbourne’s VFL affiliate the Casey Demons, where he made considerable progress under the coaching of Justin Plapp.

Keilty played in the TAC Cup with Gippsland Power after switching his sporting focus from basketball.

At 194cm and 95kg and with the ability to play at both ends of the ground and in the ruck, the right-footer will be a formidable player in Southern

Melbourne's Declan Keilty marks in the JLT Series this year.

“Yes, Dec has signed with us. That’s done. I announced it last night at the presentation,’’ coach Peter Pirera said this morning.

“He lives not far from the ground. We’re proud and happy he’s chosen Bentleigh as his club. We’re all rapt with it.’’

Bentleigh finished just outside the Division 1 finals this year.

Gun ruckman Mitch Smart won the best and fairest comfortably.

“He had his best season, and he’s going to get better and better,’’ Pirera said.

“He rucks all day every game but now we’ll have Declan Keilty to help him out.’’

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