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Local footy writer Todd Whelan catches up with the Devils in isolation for a series of interviews over the coming weeks – stay connected with the DFNC Facebook page to find out how the players are travelling…

Devil:   Darren Leonard  #15

Age:    29

Recruited from: Darley Juniors

Games played (Darley):    220  (inc 2015,17 flags)                 

Position: Key back

AFL support team:  Carlton

Occupation:  Plumber

 

(TW): For the record, do you enjoy your occasional time spent in the ruck? There’s some stiff opposition in the BFNL…

(DL): I used to enjoy it but since i’ve gotten a bit older it’s gotten a lot harder! I’ve lost my spring which tends to lean towards less impact. I was a fan of the freedom and mobility associated with the role.

(TW): Where do you see the Devils greatest need for onfield improvement?

(DL): Certainly offence / forward of centre and our ability to retain the ball in our front half for longer periods. We’ve worked hard on that over the pre season and with the addition of Ben (Said) I’m confident we’ll see considerable improvement sooner rather than later.

(TW): Two years ago you were representing the BFNL on the MCG, how are you coping without footy – what are you missing most?

(DL): I do miss the boys and the camaraderie that comes with footy. On the other hand if I was to be completely honest, I’m loving my extra time at home with my young family.

(TW): If you could have any other player in the comp play for Darley, who would you choose?

(DL): Mitch Conn (Sunbury) – young, skilful and fit – played interleague with him and he was one of the guys I got along well with. Rate him highly.

(TW): If there were an ‘East’ (Darley, Bacchus Marsh, Sunbury, Melton, Melton South) vs ‘West’ (East Point, Sebastopol, Redan, Lake Wendouree, North Ballarat City, Ballarat) exhibition match – who would start favorites?

(DL): East of course and we would win, @#!ken oath!

(TW): How’s your fitness regime going in isolation – what have you been doing and rate your current fitness level out of 10?

(DL): I’ve slowly dropped to a seven I reckon. I went pretty hard in the first four weeks but it gets harder with the shorter days and the colder nights. On your own it’s tougher to get motivated.

(TW): What was most enjoyable (for you) about the club’s inaugural Hall of Fame night held at Crown Palladium last year?

(DL): It was an awesome night! It gave me the opportunity to mingle with people I had heard so much about but hadn’t met. To see how much the club meant to some families that aren’t fully engaged at the club on a weekly basis was also pretty special. Really was a quality time, loved it.

(TW): You played in both 2015 and 2017 Grand Final wins – which of those two teams was the strongest?

(DL): Oh Toddy, you have put me on the spot here – I can’t win with this one…….ok, I reckon 2017 side would win just……..but 2015 would win the fight!!!! lololol

(TW): Finally Daz, you have the perfect view of watching a game unfold from your key post in defense – who would you say is the most skilful player in the Devils line-up?

(DL): Definitely not Harley Inglis, Corey Cullen or Jackson ‘shinner’ Carrick lolololol. Seriously though, I would have to go with Leigh Spiteri.

(TW): Cheers legend.