New hope for Demons
PERTH Football Club hopes three marquee recruits can help the Demons unlock the cellar door and return to finals contention for the first time since 2002.
After 13 seasons at or near the bottom of the WAFL ladder, the acquisitions of former AFL players Angus Graham (Richmond/Adelaide), Clint Jones and Spencer White (both St Kilda) have injected new belief into the club.
Ruckman Graham joins the Demons from Aberfeldie in the Essendon Districts Football League, where he helped steer the club to its first premiership in 41 years – including a seven-goal contribution in the grand final.
Jones, a South Fremantle product, returns to WA after 149 games for St Kilda, during which he developed a reputation as one of the AFL's best taggers under the coaching of Ross Lyon.
He spent last season playing for St Kilda's VFL-aligned club Sandringham and was named club best and fairest at the age of 31.
Drafted by the Saints in 2012, White made just two appearances for the senior side but the 21-year-old 196cm key forward holds a wealth of untapped potential, according to Perth Demons football operations man- ager Tyson Beattie.
“As a tall forward, Spencer filled one of the key positions we were really targeting in the offseason," Beattie said.
“Having a player that you can actually aim for when bringing the ball into the forward line was something we really missed last season and Spencer is so dominant in the air.
“He also has great speed for his size and if he gets the right delivery will be massive for us.”
Beattie said the addition of Graham and Jones to the Demons’ burgeoning midfield would help elevate the engine room to another level after an impressive 2015.
“The midfield is definitely a strength of the team,” he said.
“Aidan Tropiano won the Sandover Medal last year, Liam McKenna is hitting his prime as a WAFL footballer, our captain Dene White is a veteran presence and Brett Wolfenden, who joined us from Swan Districts, is also approaching 100 league games.
“Adding Clint Jones into that mix with Angus Graham in the ruck will give us a great chance to win first use of the ball.”
Beattie said with the new recruits on board a run deep into September and the finals was the goal.
“I can't speak for the coach in terms of wins and losses, but we'd be hoping to push for the finals – that's what everyone in a nine team competition should be pushing for,” he said.
Angus Graham, Spencer White and Clint Jones.
Picture: Will Russell www.communitypix.com.au d449061