An outstanding debut season by Patrick Dellit has earned the 2011 Rising Star recipient a new two-year deal at the Western Force.
Dellit was drafted into the West Australian side for the 2011 campaign following a number of years plying his trade in the NSW first Grade competition.
Identified by coach Richard Graham as a player with the potential to succeed at the elite level, the 24 year old has made the most of the development opportunities afforded to him in Perth.
"Being a rookie at my age I obviously wanted to try and get onto the field as quickly as I could and the set-up in WA is one which rewards hard work and gives players an opportunity," Dellit said.
"There was a massive learning curve and definitely no short cuts taking that step into Super Rugby. Playing under Richard Graham you aren't under any illusions about what is required and that really helped me understand and appreciate what I needed to do to be part of the match day squad.
"I didn't want to be treading water any longer and coming to Perth has turned out to be the best decision I have ever made," said Dellit.
He didn't have to wait too long for a chance to impress, making a debut off the bench in the club's round five win against the Lions in Johannesburg.
Dellit's first run-on appearance came shortly after in a well-earned victory in Canberra where his hard straight running, as well as his doggedness in defence stood out.
"When you can see that there are people around you willing to work hard for a cause and everyone wants it then it is really easy to stay motivated and want to get better," said Dellit.
"From day one I felt very welcomed at the club, from all the coaches to each player in the squad, for me that has been a massive part about why I wanted to stay here.
"I'm still learning with each passing week and being given an opportunity to stay and play on in Perth is just awesome."
Dellit's ability to play both in the midfield and as an outside back was a valuable commodity utilised by the Western Force coaching staff and he started the final nine matches of the 2011 campaign for a total of 12 appearances.
"What appealed to me in recruiting Patrick was that he had done a fair apprenticeship at club rugby and I believed that by giving him an opportunity in a professional programme he could improve," Graham said.
"He worked hard to get an opportunity and his performances warranted continued selection. Given his physical size and attributes as a player he has plenty of potential still to be realised and I think he'll be a consistently good Super Rugby player."
The Western Force programme has a well-earned reputation at being able to develop players into high level performers and Dellit's progression in a short period is yet another example of the mutually beneficial outcomes being achieved in WA.
"It certainly is one of the most satisfying things of coaching at any level to be able to bring a player in and see them succeed," said Graham.
"Watching Patrick's progression, and ultimately him being rewarded with the club's Rising Star award, is a credit to him as a player but also to the programme that has been established in Perth which offers these opportunities.
"When you are given an opportunity, in order to make the most of it you need to work hard and you have to continue to understand and develop not only individually but also within the team ethos. Patrick has done that and become a respected member of the group."
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