Brett Deledio will become the 83rd Greater Western Sydney debutant tomorrow when he lines up against Melbourne in Canberra.
The Kyabram product has battled injury since making the move north from Richmond after last season, but has impressed during consecutive North East Australian Football League matches.
Deledio, 30, has collected 42 disposals across five quarters of football, including 25 possessions in last week’s 31-point loss to Gold Coast.
‘‘He played about three quarters then came off in the last, but that was because he’d covered the amount of kilometres we wanted him to do,’’ GWS head of football Wayne Campbell told afl.com.au on Monday.
‘‘He played in the midfield for the first half and then went to half-back in the third quarter, whereas last week he spent most of his time across half-back.’’
Calf issues in his right leg have hampered Deledio during the past few years, but a tear to his left calf in June threatened to derail his campaign for good.
With 10 Giants on the injury list, Deledio could lock down a spot in his new club’s best 22 and play a vital role in the final month of the regular season and beyond.
The star’s last AFL game was in round 17 last year against Essendon and, despite only managing to pull the boots on 11 times for the season, Deledio still averaged more than 23 disposals, five marks and almost four tackles a game.
If the third-placed Giants go deep in September this season, the two-time All Australian and two-time best-and-fairest winner could conceivably reach the 250-game mark this year.
The skillful veteran sits on 243 matches, but will be in no rush as he still has two years left to run on his contract with the Giants after originally signing on until the end of 2019.