Tasmania Devils news

From AFL Tasmania

Scott Wade, General Manager of AFL Tasmania and Donald McDonald, Kangaroos General Manager Football Operations today confirmed that the two year partial VFL alignment will not continue in 2008.

The decision to end the partial VFL alignment is consistent with conclusions reached by the Board of Management of AFL Tasmania some weeks ago, and is consistent with the Kangaroos review of its own r VFL alignment structure.

Scott Wade thanked the Kangaroos for their contribution to the Tasmanian Devils over the past two years and expressed AFL Tasmania’s sincere appreciation for the professional manner in which the Kangaroos have handled every aspect of their VFL alignment with the Tasmanian Devils.

Scott Wade advised that over the past two years the players and officials of both Clubs have established a strong working relationship.

Scott Wade reinforced that over recent months the Board of Management of AFL Tasmania has and is continuing to analyse and review every aspect of the Tasmanian Devils program and through these deliberations it became obvious that a partial VFL alignment between the Tasmanian Devils and the Kangaroos could not be sustained for the following reasons:

- AFL Tasmania is committed to improving the quality of football in Tasmania and positioning the Devils as our states elite football team; providing more talented young Tasmanian players with the opportunity to play with the Devils.

- AFL Tasmania’s Board of Management will aim to raise the bar in all areas of the Tasmanian Devils program and fundamental to this will be to have the full Devils squad regularly training together at intensity.

- AFL Tasmania is committed to the development of a Strategic Alliance with the Hawthorn Football Club and therefore the VFL alignment compromises our capacity to maximize the value that Hawthorn can add to AFL Tasmania’s talent pathway programs (including the Devils).

Magpie-packed Willy

From The Mercury
Reported by James Bresnehan

THE Tasmanian Devils will field their strongest side of the VFL season against Williamstown at Bellerive tomorrow with the inclusion of senior Kangaroos Josh Gibson and Scott McMahon.

 And Williamstown not only delivered on its promise to play Tasmanian Brodie Holland on his way back from a heel injury, it will play 15 Collingwood-listed players including Rhyce Shaw.

Among the Magpies' senior players are Tasmanian Sam Iles, as well as dynamic midfielder Paul Licuria and prolific ball-winner Ryan Lonie.

"We weren't sure how Brodie would come up, but he's come through training nicely and will definitely play," Willy coach Brad Gotch said yesterday.

"Rhyce Shaw will come over to Williamstown this week as well, which we weren't expecting."

Gibson returns three months after he was told his season was over because of bleeding on the brain.

Brodie back with Seagulls

From The Mercury
Reported by James Bresnehan

TASMANIAN Brodie Holland will be one of up to 15 Collingwood players to line up for Williamstown against the Tasmanian Devils at Bellerive on Saturday in the final roster match of the VFL season.

 Experienced Magpie players Holland, Paul Licuria, Ryan Lonie and Simon Prestigiacomo will headline the Williamstown team.

However, there will be no Nathan Buckley, who starred for Williamstown last weekend, gathering 30 possessions and kicking four goals in its 115-point demolition of Port Melbourne.

"Nathan will go into the senior team this week," Williamstown coach Brad Gotch said yesterday.

"His aim is to contribute in the Collingwood line-up, and last week's performance was a good way to come back from injury and show he is ready for AFL football again."

Holland's comeback from an achilles problem has been hampered several times.

Careless to step aside

From The Mercury
Reported by Adam Smith

RUGGED Devils defender Ben Careless will bring to an end his 88-game VFL career when he runs out for his state for the final time on Saturday.

Having been with the club since its inception in 2001 -- including a year off in 2005 with injury -- the wear and tear of the game has finally caught up with the 31-year-old.

Increasing work commitments with the Hobart City Council and a young family also contributed to the decision.

Careless told the playing group of his retirement after training on Monday night and will follow in the footsteps of fellow Glenorchy premiership player and good mate Ben Atkin, who retired after the final round last season.

The only difference will be Careless will hang up the boots for good, despite the option of returning to the local league.

Grounds for complaint

From The Mercury
Reported by James Bresnehan

"IT never ceases to amaze," says Rob Direen, referring to the type of requests and objections he gets from VFL teams when they come to play the Devils in Tasmania.

Like this season when a side refused to play on Bellerive Oval until the centre wicket area was rolled.

On another occasion, also this season, a Victorian team refused to sign-off on Aurora Stadium until it was supplied with two canisters of oxygen for its players.

As the Devils' team manager, Direen's role is to make sure the visiting sides feel at home, particularly given they have to officially "sign-off" on the venue before they agree to play on it.

"A lot of the clubs are no trouble at all, but some clubs make life a bit difficult," Direen said.

"We've got two of the top venues in the VFL with Aurora Stadium and Bellerive.

"The only one better is Skilled Stadium, which is a fantastic venue.