Tasmania Devils news

Young Devils show some bite

From Sunday Tasmanian
Reported by Brett Stubbs

IN a VFL season as bleak as this one for Tasmania, even the slightest hint of light warms the Devils' hearts.

In what has become an audition for the Devils' "generation next", the likes of Aaron Joseph, Alex Grima, Tom Bellchambers, Jaye Bowden, Tim Mohr and Kieran McShane gave glimpses of promise before eventually being swamped by their bigger, stronger, more experienced Casey Scorpion opponents at Bellerive yesterday.

Halfway through the final quarter the sixth-placed Scorpions led by just 26 points -- almost a "victory" for the bottom-dwelling Devils, with a side made up of 68 per cent of players under 20 years of age.

Eventually, like so many matches before, the longer the game went the worse the Devils became, with Casey kicking the final six goals of the match to win comfortably by 61 points, 16.18 (114) to 8.5 (53).

It was the Devils' 14th loss in 16 games this season.

The home side actually won the first and third quarters, but in between were kept goalless when kicking towards the Church St or members' end, and were even scoreless at that end in the second term.

Grima was assured and creative in the backline, Joseph competitive around the ball, while big Bellchambers took a strong contested mark and kicked a goal with his first VFL kick.

Teens set for tough debut

From The Mercury
Reported by Adam Smith

LAUNCESTON teenagers Kieran McShane and Tom Bellchambers become the latest Devils debutants tomorrow and face the Casey Scorpions at Bellerive.

The pair -- who both played at the national under-18 carnival last month -- are yet another example of Daryn Cresswell's desire to get games into his Mariners players.

And in further evidence, Cresswell has his sights set firmly on next season. He is looking to give them plenty of time on the ground to learn the ropes at VFL level.

Bellchambers, who has been named to start in the ruck, is a mobile big man who can also be thrown forward and McShane can rotate through the midfield and will no doubt benefit from playing alongside the likes of Ken Hall.

It brings the number of players to have made their Devils debut this season to 25 and a total of 53 different players have been used.

This could also increase further if Brennan Savage and Leigh Brown line up tomorrow for their first games of the year.

Moles won't jeopardise draft

From The Mercury
Reported by Brett Stubbs

PROMISING Tassie Devils forward Brodie Moles will undergo surgery and miss the rest of the VFL season so as not to jeopardise his chances in the AFL draft.

Moles, 21, has been one of the few shining lights this season playing across half-forward as the Devils head towards their first wooden spoon.

But Devils coach Daryn Cresswell said yesterday Moles would join Paul Koulouriotis (hamstring) and Cameron Thurley (hip) on the sidelines for the rest of the year.

Moles has kicked 20 goals from 13 games in his debut VFL season, but will have a cartilage clean-up on his knee as soon as possible.

Cresswell said he believed Moles would be invited to the October 2-5 AFL draft camp at the AIS in Canberra.

State of play

From The Mercury
Reported by Brett Stubbs

THE AFL will underwrite a revived Tasmanian statewide league and may increase funding for the Devils to keep them in the VFL, says AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou.

He met AFL Tasmania chairman Dominic Baker and general manager Scott Wade yesterday and left them with massive grins.

Neither party would reveal the funds required but it was believed the AFL's grant to Tasmania would increase from $1.38 million to $2.2 million to cover both the new statewide league and the Devils -- a 59 per cent increase.

Demetriou said he was a supporter of a properly run statewide league, with the proposed model being underpinned by the three regional competitions and only including seniors.

"If that was something that made sense, we wouldn't hesitate in underwriting something like that to help it get off the ground," he said.

"We are a strong believer in football in Tasmania. It has got a rich history in our game, it has provided great talent to the VFL/AFL and anything we can do to further that we will look at."

But it was believed the proposed statewide competition would not be brought in until 2009.

AFL Tasmania's decision for the Devils to join the SANFL next season because of financial reasons was almost assured but Demetriou said he was not of the same opinion.

Little respite for Devils

From The Mercury
Reported by Brett Stubbs

AFTER the train wreck of this VFL season, the Devils will begin pre-season for 2008 barely a month after playing their final home-and-away game.

Following another dismal second-half fade out on Sunday, which saw the Devils go from a point up early in the third term to 109-point losers against North Ballarat, Devils coach Daryn Cresswell said talks had already started for next season's preparations.

To top off Sunday's horrendous performance, it seems Geelong recruit Paul Koulouriotis (hamstring) will join fellow former AFL player Cameron Thurley (hip) on the sidelines for the rest of the season.

And Kangaroos-listed Leigh Adams (shoulder) and possible AFL draftee Brodie Moles (knee) could spend close to, if not all, the remaining three games on the injured list, resulting in -- if it is possible -- an even bleaker finish to the season.

It appears the first casualties of the dismal season could be the Devils' fitness staff, with AFL Tasmania already looking at new personnel.

"Obviously it is an area that we need to look at in terms of we need someone who has got the knowledge and who's very much qualified in getting players fit so they can play at a higher level," Cresswell said.