Wodonga Raiders have snared the prized signing of Liam Delahunty before the clearance deadline.
In a major boost to the Raiders' finals aspirations, Delahunty arrives at Birallee Park from Port Melbourne in the VFL.
Touted as an AFL draft hopeful, the 20-year-old has played two matches with Port Melbourne this season.
Delahunty plays predominantly as a centre half-back and will help address the Raiders' Achilles heel of lacking a reliable key defender.
A delighted Jarrod Hodgkin said Delahunty would be rushed into the line-up for this weekend's must-win away clash with Yarrawonga.
"It's exciting news and there's no doubt Liam is a talented young player," Hodgkin said.
"Liam lives with Dylan Clarke in Melbourne and is looking forward to a change.
"He has played a couple of matches with Port Melbourne this year.
"Obviously with Mitch (Thomas) going down we were lacking a tall defender.
"We just want to get Liam into the side, show him what the league is all about and go from there."
Originally from Coolamon, Delahunty signed with NAB League club Northern Knights last year.
The athletic tall had hoped it would also lead to opportunities with North Melbourne in the VFL.
However, he played a handful of games for Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong in the AFL Riverina Championships after the VFL season was scrapped due to COVID.
Delahunty underwent a knee reconstruction during 2019 which hindered his hopes of being drafted by an AFL club.
"There are definitely big raps on the kid," Hodgkin said.
"Port Melbourne has also got a big opinion of his talent and what he achieved during his junior career.
"He is still young and learning but has got a bright future ahead of him.
"Liam can play as a lockdown defender if needed but he also likes to take the game on and back his judgement.
"I won't be afraid to hand him some big match-ups and see how he fits into our side."
The Raiders sit fifth with a 5-5 record and after Yarrawonga face Wodonga, Myrtleford and Lavington.
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