Tasmania Devils news

From Launceston Examiner
Reported by Alex Fair

TASMANIA'S disastrous VFL season continued yesterday, as the Devils went down to Richmond-aligned Coburg in the curtain-raiser at Aurora Stadium.

Tigers forward Jay Schulz had a day out kicking nine goals in the 24.10 (154) to 14.7 (91) victory.

The Richmond centre half-forward was beating the Devils off his own boot for the majority of the first half when he raced to six goals.

Another embarrassing loss was on the cards when the Devils trailed by 88 points at the final change, but they bucked the trend of final quarter fade-outs by kicking 6.3 to 2.2.

Apart from that final quarter, Daryn Cresswell's men were never able to impose themselves on the match.

They were hurt by poor disposal and decision-making in the attacking half early on while the Tigers were able to pinpoint their forwards with ease.

Coburg's pressure and attack on the ball proved too much for the young team to handle.

Rivals glory not guaranteed

From The Mercury
Reported by Adam Smith

COBURG coach Andrew Collins is taking nothing for granted for tomorrow's AFL curtain raiser at Aurora Stadium despite the glaring difference on the ladder between his side and Tasmania.

The Coburg Tigers sit a game clear in third on the VFL ladder with two rounds remaining, with a win over the Tassie Devils guaranteeing they can't be removed.

And while Tasmania is anchored to the bottom of the table, Collins only has to look back to Coburg's round-seven clash at Bellerive to know the Tigers can't get ahead of themselves.

In a game spectacularly remembered for a goal post being snapped in the final quarter, the Devils pushed the visitors all the way only to run out of petrol late in the match.

"It was only the last 15 minutes really where we managed to get on top," Collins said.

"We had difficulty all day with them. (Adam) Derbyshire was in terrific form and Ken Hall was causing trouble but having a look at the teams, the two are very different."

Coburg is coming off a bye last week, which Collins said came at the perfect time following a disappointing match against Geelong a fortnight ago.

Ex-Swan in Devils' sights

From The Mercury
Reported by Adam Smith

FORMER Sydney Swans' cult hero Gerrard Bennett is being targeted by the Devils for next season.

The defender, who on Saturday will play his 100th consecutive match with South Adelaide in the SANFL, is good friends with Devils coach Daryn Cresswell.

Cresswell said yesterday he has been in touch with the key position player, who at 188cm and 95kg could help bolster a young and inexperienced backline.

Bennett played 32 games with the Swans between 1999 and 2002, kicking 11 goals.

He has been one of the shining lights for the Panthers this season, who sit second-last with just four wins.

"I have spoken to Bennett for next year, he would be good for the group we have got at the moment," Cresswell said.

Ex-trainer threatens Devils

From The Mercury
Reported by Adam Smith

AS if the Tassie Devils' lack of success on the field wasn't bad enough, a former fitness trainer is now considering legal action after claiming he is owed about $10,000 by the club.

Russell Kapper had been employed by the VFL side since last season, but had a falling out with coach Daryn Cresswell in April.

During an away game against North Ballarat, Kapper had been out late and was locked out of his hotel room after forgetting his key.

After waking some of the players in an effort to get back in, it was decided the following Monday at a meeting his role with the side would be reduced as punishment.

AFL Tasmania general manager Scott Wade refused to comment directly on the issue, but was disappointed with the handling of the matter.

"It is disappointing that Russell has chosen to air his dirty linen through the media," Wade said.

Stick with VFL

From The Mercury
Reported by Brett Stubbs

AS AFL Tasmania deliberates whether to send the Devils off to play in the SANFL next season, the vast majority of southern footballers are adamant that the state should stick with the VFL.

And they are even more strongly in favour of calling an end to the Devils' partial alignment with AFL club the Kangaroos.

A Mercury exclusive poll of 65 Southern Premier League players shows 80 per cent want the Devils to stay in the VFL.

More than 90 per cent believe AFL Tasmania should cut all ties with the Devils' AFL affiliate and revert to a stand-alone club -- just as Tasmania was in its first five years, during which it made the finals three times in a row.

But the good news for AFL Tasmania is that despite the Devils' disastrous past two seasons and their Kangaroos partial alignment, there is still plenty of support for AFL Tasmania's flagship team.