‘Why was I picked up?’: Deluca’s Blues anger
Ex-Carlton forward Josh Deluca has revealed his frustration at being delisted by the Blues after less than six months at the club.
Deluca was drafted by Carlton with pick No.1 in this year's mid-season draft and played the final six games of the season before being told he wouldn't be offered a contract for 2020.
The 23-year-old relocated from Perth to Melbourne after being drafted by the Blues, leaving behind a life he'd set up for himself in Western Australia only to be left in limbo months later.
Deluca played predominantly as a forward for the Blues, averaging 11.8 disposals and less than a goal per game, despite dominating for WAFL club Subiaco as a midfielder.
A frustrated Deluca doesn't understand why the Blues drafted him, declaring the club would have known it was chasing fellow forwards Jack Martin and Eddie Betts during the trade period, while failing to secure Tom Papley from Sydney.
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"That was sort of the conversation pre-trade (period) and then it turned out they were going for three or four forwards," Deluca said.
"I understood that but what I was thinking was more along the lines of well, you would of have an idea that you were going to go for those players earlier in the season and I didn't understand why I was picked up in the first place if that was the case."
Deluca said he made it known to Carlton he wasn't keen to put his life in Perth on hold just to play AFL for less than a year.
He said he was told before being drafted his chances of securing a contract for 2020 were good.
"It's a big move just for six months and I'm not really that keen just for a six-month gig and they were pretty reassuring that it wouldn't be," Deluca told SEN.
"So I was pretty flat to hear when that result came back and circumstances had changed.
"I was pretty devastated and shocked just because I might have thought I was in a better position than I found out to be."
Deluca is likely to remain in Melbourne with his partner next year and play at VFL level to stay under the watchful eye of AFL recruiters.
He trained with the Blues in the lead-up to the national and rookie drafts in the hope of winning another contract but was unsuccessful.
If an opportunity arose to play at AFL level again he'd take it but would want a guarantee it wouldn't just be a six-month role.
"I can't say I'd ever say no to an AFL contract but I'd probably want a bit more reassurance that it wouldn't be like this," he said.
"It is hard, especially coming over from Perth, it does put your life on hold and in terms of my work opportunities I would hope it wouldn't have a big affect on that but yeah, of course I'd take a contract if it they were thrown at me."