This weekend one of the Demon’s longest serving and finest players, Damian Dell’Aquila, plays his 250th open-age game for the Pennant Hills Demons. Variously known as ‘Damo’, ‘Della’ and ‘Brick’, this man with his familiar nuggety physique is one of the most popular players at Pennant Hills, now in his 16th season with the Club.
Between 2005 and 2018, Damo played almost exclusively in the Premier Division side and had amassed 225 senior games, before deciding to step back to the Reserve Grade side in 2019. A high calibre player regarded as one of the best kicks at the Club, surprisingly he has never won a B&F award but has been runner-up four times; twice in Premier Division, in the Under18s and most recently last season, 2019, in the Reserve grade side. As a measure of his playing quality and reliability he has also been the senior side’s Most Consistent player (typically the 3rd highest B&F vote-getter) on four occasions.
Damian’s career highlights include three Premier Division premiership flags … the 2 point nail-biter in 2006, the 4th quarter barn-storming victory in 2015, both over arch-rivals, East Coast Eagles, and the heart-stopping scrambling win against Sydney University in 2017. Damo also played his part in the 2008 flag, running water for the lads after missing the whole season after he ruptured an ACL during the pre-season.
Any premiership is a good one but for Damo, the 2015 victory must be the sweetest of all as he was universally voted the best on ground winning the Rod Podbury Medal. His three last quarter goals were crucial at a time in the match when the result was still up for grabs. Down by nine points at the last change, Penno needed something special, and Damo’s burst of three goals inspired a final quarter onslaught that eventually saw the Demons run out winners by 35 pts, kicking eight goals to one. His actions in the final term were described as ‘breaking the shackles’ and he was as ‘solid as an oak’. Two goals from mid-range capped off by the final nail in the Eagles coffin, a grubber kick from the ‘dead man’s pocket’, sealed a thrilling victory against a hot Eagles list full of former NEAFL players from 2014. Penno and East Coast had played each other four times in season 2015 and Penno’s only victory was the One that really counted!
In a wonderful moment of synchronicity, another player with the initials ‘DD’ kicked three last quarter goals in a crucial match for the Demons. In season 2000, eighteen year old Daniel Delooze (‘DD’) kicked three last quarter goals to seal victory in the First Grade Grand Final, the Club’s inaugural senior grade flag. Fifteen years later, Damian Dell’Áquila (‘DD’) achieved the identical feat with the same result … Flag glory for the Pennant Hills Demons! And, what’s more, the winning margin of 35 points was the same in both 2000 and 2015!
In spite of stepping down from the senior side in 2019, Damo continues to lead by word and by action, on-field and off. Also in 2019, he took on an assistant coaching role to support Senior Coach, Chris Yard, by mentoring the Premier Division’s midfield group. Damo is the quintessential role-model for any aspiring young player and also sets a high standard in attitude, application and behaviour. He is a fantastic ambassador for our great Club. He combines his footy talent, with a strong will to succeed and an unrivalled work ethic which, together with his loyalty to his team-mates and the Club, makes him a true club champion and places him amongst the best performers to have donned the Demon’s ‘Red & the Blue’. He is also a genuinely great bloke.
On behalf of everyone at Pennant Hills we wish Della the best of luck for his 250 game milestone match and congratulate him on another magnificent achievement!
|DAMIAN DELL’AQUILA #25 – CAREER HIGHLIGHTS
(2004 – 07 & 2009 – 20)
|226 Senior Grade
23 Reserve Grade
1 Lower Grade
14 Under 18
|Premier Division Flags||2017, 2015, 2006|
|AFL Sydney League Awards|
|Rod Podbury Medal (Best on Ground in Grand Final)||2015|
|Club Awards – Premier Division|
|Pennant Hills Footballer of the Year
Premier Division – R/U Best & Fairest
Premier Division – Most Consistent
Premier Division – Coaches Award
Premier Division – Best Mid-fielder
Reserves – R/U Best & Fairest
Under 18 – R/U Best & Fairest
2014, 2013, 2011, 2010
|Co – Club Captain (with Matthew Carey)
(including Premiership Co-Captain in 2015)
|2011 – 2015|
|AFL Sydney Team of the Year
AFL Sydney Development Team
DAMIAN DELL’AQUILA #25 – MATCH HIGHLIGHTS
|Premier Division Grand Final 2017 – Blacktown ISP – 16 September 2017
Pennant Hills 10.6-66 defeated Sydney University 7.18-60
|2.||Premier Division Grand Final 2015 – Henson Park – 27 September 2015
Pennant Hills 14.5-89 defeated East Coast Eagles 7.12-54
Damian DellÁquila – 3 goals / PH BST #1 / Rod Podbury Medal
|3.||Premier Division Grand Final 2008 – Henson Park – 20 September 2008
Pennant Hills 20.12-132 defeated East Coast Eagles 3.10-28
Damian Dell’Aquila – Water Boy
|4.||Premier Division Grand Final 2006 – Henson Park – 9 September 2006
Pennant Hills 5.20-50 defeated East Coast Eagles 7.6-48
Damian Dell’Aquila PH BST #5
|5.||Premier Division Debut – Round 2 – Ern Holmes Oval – 24 April 2004
Pennant Hills Demons 5.4-34 lost to North Shore 20.18-138
Written and compiled by John Acheson.