Tasmania Devils news

Devils sign up former Demon

From The Mercury

Reported by James Bresnehan
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DELISTED by Melbourne last month, Tasmanian Heath Neville has signed to the Devils in the VFL next year, in the hope of rekindling his AFL career

Devils coach Daryn Cresswell signed Neville yesterday as one of four recruits in Melbourne this week.

AFL Tasmania will announced the quartet in Hobart today, with the promise of more recruits to follow.

Neville, who played for Clarence and the Mariners, was taken by the Demons at No. 68 in the 2005 draft.

His shot at the AFL was ruined by a frustrating fight with osteopubis, restricting him to only a handful of games with Melbourne's VFL affiliate Sandringham over the past two seasons.

But Neville has now put his groin issues to bed.

SA not upset at Devils' decision

From The Mercury
Reported by James Bresnehan

THE SANFL has copped it on the chin and said there were no hard feelings that the Tasmanian Devils preferred to continue in the VFL rather than switch to the Adelaide-based competition.

SANFL executive commissioner Leigh Whicker found out on Monday afternoon in a phone call from Scott Wade that the Devils had announced their intentions to stay in the Victorian league.

The AFL Tasmania general manager had fronted a media conference in Hobart four hours earlier to outline the Devils' future.

Whicker said he and his South Australian colleagues did not feel used as leverage for the Devils to get a better deal in Victoria.

"Not at all," Whicker said.

"At the end of the day it's not about South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria, it's about the game and getting the best mix to strengthen the code.

Deal to rejuvenate Devils

From The Mercury
Reported by Brett Stubbs

THE rebuilding of the Devils from scratch started yesterday after AFL Tasmania admitted it had failed the state's best young players.

The formation of a Centre of Excellence, a $250,000 increased AFL grant, a 50 per cent increased salary cap and closer ties with the Hawthorn Football Club are all key ingredients to lifting the Devils off the bottom of the VFL ladder.

AFL Tasmania chairman Dominic Baker announced yesterday the Devils would be staying in the VFL long-term.

"Realistically, our intention is the Devils will be remaining in the VFL while we have the Tasmanian Devils," he said.

"We will sign a (VFL) licence for five years.

"Once we have got this program set up and working well and we have a successful club inside that competition, I think we will be there for a very long time."

The review, led by AFL Tasmania board member and Western Bulldogs recruiting manager Scott Clayton, will result in the state's best young players being relocated to the Centre of Excellence at Bellerive under the Devils banner.

Key Devil's future unclear

From The Mercury
Reported by Brett Stubbs

THE Devils' centralised Hobart program will cost them Northern players, co-captain Scott Stephens believes.

Stephens, based in Launceston, said he was undecided at the moment about whether he would be able to continue on with the program next year.

He sat out the program in 2006 due to previous coach Mathew Armstrong's centralised training regime but returned this year when it was set up with regional training squads in the North, North-West and the South.

"Absolutely, I have got no doubt about that it will cost Northern players," Stephens said.

"It did in the past and it will again next year. If guys are serious about their footy and want to take their footy to the next level it is just the step they are going to have to take."

Stephens, 24, said he could not commit to the Devils by living in Launceston so would have to relocate.

Devils' naked cyclist shame

From The Mercury
Reported by James Bresnehan

A NAKED footballer shocked parents and children by cycling around during a game at Lauderdale Oval on Sunday.

He was part of a group of Tasmanian Devils VFL players, who were there to see their coach Daryn Cresswell play in a superules match.

A caller to the Mercury yesterday, who did not wish to be identified, labelled the incident disgraceful.

"They were drinking and one stripped off and got on a bike and rode around naked at the game," the man said.

"I'm not immune to having a drink and I understand they have to let their hair down after the season.

"But I was there with a group of young families and it's pretty poor form to have one of them running round and riding around naked.

"They're a high-profile club the Devils and they're trying to build professionalism and I read in the paper they're going to have zero tolerance to bad off-field behaviour.

"They have a responsibility to the community and when this type of thing occurs, it's pretty disappointing."

AFL Tasmania said there had been no official complaints.