Oh Brother

 

“Deluca gathers… handballs to Deluca… and Deluca finishes the goal.”

It didn’t take long for brothers Chris and Josh Deluca to combine as WAFL footballers.

Chris found himself on the end of a well weighted handball from his kid brother Josh and duly converted at a crucial stage during the latter’s round 1 debut against South Fremantle.

It was a passage of play that will remembered not only by their proud parents who were watching from the stands, but by eager Subiaco supporters who got their first glimpse of things to come.

“It’s been unbelievable having him out there, I’m so proud of him and i feel like my game has improved with him in the side.”  Chris said.

17 year old Josh and 19 year old Chris have made themselves a thorn in the side of the Bulldogs, East Fremantle and Claremont so far this season.

In three games together the pair have combined for 25 shots on goal for a return of 8 goals and 17 behinds.

But it’s their trademark tackling pressure that is crippling opposition defenders, the pair have laid a remarkable 18 tackles in Subiaco’s forward half this season.

Josh, who is still eligible to play colts, credits his aggressive style of play to a highly competitive childhood.

“When we were growing up things could get pretty heated in the backyard (laughs), not anymore though, I avoid it now, it used to be pretty scary (laughs) it wasn’t my favourite thing to do because when it happened I would get my a** handed to me.” Josh said

Chris recalls their brotherly stoushes only slightly differently.

“Things used to get pretty intense in the backyard but being the older brother I had to let him win a few.” He said

“Back in the day we were pretty competitive kids.” Josh said

“We always wanted to be better than each other… it’s not really like that now.

“Chris doesn’t even like talking about footy outside of footy, I mean at home you wouldn’t even know we played footy.” Josh said.

With an age gap of 2 years the brothers have had to wait until they reached senior ranks before running out alongside each other.

“It’s actually interesting, I feel really confident playing with Chris, I don’t mean that like ‘oh there’s my brother I’m going to kick it to him’, it’s more that I know him better, I know how good he is and that gives me the confidence.” Josh said

 

“He tells me little things, like not to be so nervous when you’re going for a shot or to slow down at times, and around the club he’s helped me transition with a few little things.”

 

Like Chris in 2012, Josh will play State 18’s for WA which means he will miss two months of WAFL during the middle of this season.

And while a number of AFL clubs are likely to show interest in him come the end of the year, Josh, with distinct maturity for a teenager, says his focus is on playing quality football for the Lions.

“It’s such a great experience, I find every week I’m growing in confidence with my positioning, knowing where to run and not being as nervous going into the games.

 “I’m becoming a lot more comfortable within the side the more games we play plus its such a great bunch of blokes here to welcome you into the team.” Josh said.

Chris has played 22 WAFL games since debuting in 2012.

Josh took home last year’s Taylor medal as the Colts best and fairest player.

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