South Fremantle supporters can thank an Australia-wide recruiting drive in 1975 by the North Darwin Football Club(later to become Palmerston) for inadvertantly delivering prize recruit Wayne Delmenico to the Bulldogs. “I was playing with Melbourne in 1975, when North Darwin had a recruiting drive for players, offering air fares, accommodation, and a job, so I thought it was a way to see a bit of the country in the Melbourne off season,” he told us. “ It was South Fremantle Secretary- Manager Brien Thirley who contacted me up there asking if I would be interested in playing at South in 1976.” Wayne Delmenico went on to become a leading player in one of South Fremantle's great sides,and was a  favourite with supporters,  playing 128 games for the club, was an integral part of a memorable premiership, and represented Western Australia.  Hailing from Shepparton in country Victoria, Delmenico played in the under fourteens originally as a rover, before experiencing a growth spurt and led the ruck the following season. At fourteen and a half he was playing with the seniors in the local district league, before lining up with the Lemnos club in the Goulburn Valley League, who were coached by former North Melbourne player, Roland Crosby.  Melbourne showed interest in the young Delmenico, bringing him to the city for a reserves appearance late in the 1971 season, and including him in their pre season training camp the following year. 1972 saw Delmenico play every game except one in the reserves, who were runners up for the premiership. His league debut came in round seventeen, when he replaced the injured captain, Frank Davis, in a match against Essendon at Windy Hill, when he played at centre half back, on the Bombers Alan Noonan.  He laughingly recalled one game in the reserves, when the side's biggest ruckman slept in, arriving just as the coach was giving his address. He pulled off his track suit to get changed, only to reveal his pyjamas. Wayne Delmenico was to play thirty games at Melbourne, before his six month stint at North Darwin, and subsequently, his move to South Fremantle.    Delmenico was an instant success with the Bulldogs, and over the eight seasons he was part of the red and whites he gave them great service in several positions. Mainly at full back in the early years, he became a damaging forward, and was at his best in the 1980 grand final, when a series of high marks, especially in the first half, helped set his side on the path to a premiership.  A tough, no nonsense footballer, who attacked the ball with ferocity, Delmenico was a fine mark, and was equally adept in attack or defence, although preferring centre half forward.  “It was an honour to be a part of that South Fremantle side,” he said. “We had many terrific players, it was just a pleasure to be playing with them.” Wayne played for Western Australia against South Australia, at Subiaco Oval, on June 20, 1981, on a half back flank, and he wasn't lonely, because there were six other South players in the WA side.  Towards the end of his career, Delmenico was hampered by injuries, with bone chips in a knee a particular ongoing concern, and he retired from league football at the end of the 1983 season, at the age of thirty one. Captain-coaching Canning to a preliminary final in 1984 in the first season of a two year stint at the South Suburban club, he later was captain coach of the Sunday League club, Fremantle, in 1986/87.  The following decade was taken up with Super Rules, which gave way to junior football coaching, and a committeeman of the Kardinya Junior Football Club, as Wayne's young bloke, Scott, started to excel at the game. Delmenico nominated Alex Jesaulenko, “he was good in the air and on the ground,” Peter Bosustow, and Warren Ralph, “led quickly, with some great deliverers in front of him.” The champ, Maurice Rioli, was his pick as best teammate. Busy with his irrigation and landscaping business, Wayne doesn't have a lot of time on his hands to spend on a golf course or bowling green, but he enjoys running, having been a participant in marathons in previous years, and manages to fit in a six kilometre run at least one day a week. He has an involvement with the South Fremantle Past Players Association. With wife Anita, the Delmenicos have two boys and a girl, and they enjoy flying over to pay family in Melbourne a visit when possible. Wayne Delmenico went to Darwin and became a Bulldog, serving the South Fremantle club well, both as a player and junior coach. South supporters remember the dependable Delmenico as a strong, no nonsense defender, and solid, strong marking forward who complemented stars  like Carter, Michael, Rioli, Campbell, Vigona and McKay 



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