FORGETTING about a dismal 2011 season for Darley's senior football team might be high on the agenda for the club's supporters.
After the Devils produced a solid opening victory of the season against a competitive Melton South, opposition coaches planning against Darley may be advise to forget the Devils of 2011 as well.
With a host of recruits and returning players, the Devils look little like they did last year. Some of those recruits were immediately in Darley's best players.
Former Rockbank pair Leigh Sobotnicki and Nathan Jackel were perhaps the stand outs. Jackel is a jet (both figuratively in terms of his speed, and literally in that he is a Western Jet). His pace troubled the Panthers throughout.
But the matchwinner was Sobotnicki (another Western Jet), who converted two Jake Edwards clearances in the final quarter that pushed the margin beyond three goals.
Darley coach Rod MacPherson said Sobotnicki was a late inclusion, after crossing from the Riddell District Football League over the summer.
"We had Chris McGill pull up sore so we needed that small forward," McPherson said.
"We got him because the (Western) Jets wanted him playing at a higher level than Rockbank.
"Jackel also came across because they are mates. He is a breathtaking talent."
Darley's other recruits had mixed fortunes.
Marty Pask kicked two goals but was otherwise disappointing.
Saul Grenfell was serviceable after copping a corked thigh at training during the week. His brother Dane, meanwhile, had a tough return against his former club.
"Dane is a confident kid," McPherson said. "They (the Melton South supporters) were really giving it to him. I don't think he thought it was going to be that hostile."
Jake Edwards, back from Port Melbourne, had an outstanding match while Luke Guerra struggled with a back injury.
Brendan Porter had a solid return in his first match since a season-ending knee injury last year.