Tasmania Devils news

Northern base is possible: Cresswell

From Launceston Examiner
Reported by Phil Edwards

AURORA Stadium could become the home base of the Tassie Devils next season, coach Daryn Cresswell said yesterday.

Speaking at the Devils' training session at the venue in preparation for today's clash against reigning VFL premier Sandringham, Cresswell said it was important for the team to have a central training base.

"The football department will meet with Scott Wade in the next few weeks to discuss a system whereby we can train together a bit more than we have done," Cresswell said.

"Aurora is definitely a chance because it's very accessible and we can get on here in the summer months because there's no cricket played here."

But Cresswell said he didn't have a particular preference for either Bellerive or Aurora.

"Whatever best suits the footy team in terms of the best training venue where everyone can get together is more important to me rather than where it's at," he said.

The bottom-placed Devils face a tough assignment in today's game against the Melbourne- aligned Zebras, who boast a potent forward line of Nick Sautner, Ezra Poyas, Ben Holland and Byron Pickett.

But Cresswell said he was more concerned about the Devils' effort than the result.

Devils welcome to Adelaide

From The Mercury
Reported by James Bresnehan

THE door has been thrown wide open for the Tasmanian Devils to join the SANFL in 2009.

SANFL boss Leigh Whicker said yesterday his league liked the idea of having a team from Tasmania join the Adelaide-based competition to end the bye in the nine-team league.

Whicker said the SANFL would be prepared to meet all the Devils' travel costs and scrap their annual $85,000 VFL licence fee -- an overall saving of more than $330,000.

The South Australians put together an affiliation proposal and presented it to AFL Tasmania two weeks ago.

The SANFL then formed a working committee, which plans to meet with Tasmanian officials this month to discuss the proposition.

The SANFL chief's enthusiasm for Tasmania follows a survey of SANFL clubs that found eight out of nine captains favoured Tasmania joining the competition, and another that showed 79 per cent of SA fans felt the same way.

Devils made to apologise

From Sunday Tasmanian
Reported by Brett Stubbs

SO ashamed and embarrassed by his team's performance, Devils coach Daryn Cresswell made his senior players front the media to apologise for the side's pitiful display against Bendigo at Bellerive yesterday.

In a season that many thought could not get any worse, the Devils' ineptness and uncompetitiveness plunged to levels not seen by a Tasmanian VFL team before on home soil.

Like naughty schoolboys, captain Scott Stephens, Ken Hall, Paul Koulouriotis and Bard Moran were marched out to try to explain the Devils' 10th consecutive loss.

What made this loss such a disgrace was the positive start in which the home side led by two goals in the second term, before conceding the next 15 without a score and eventually losing by 96 points, 22.13 (145) to 7.7 (49).

"We are embarrassed and sorry for our supporters who came today and paid their good, hard-earned money to watch us dish that shit up," Stephens said.

"Next time we play a home game down here, we will be playing with a spirit and fight for the contest. You have my word on that.

"You can tell by the amount of people we are getting through the gate (2152 at yesterday's game).

"A couple of years back in the Southern Stand there was people everywhere.

"Now they are walking out the gate at half-time because they are embarrassed and we are not doing anything to stand in the way to say `hey, stick around and watch us'."

Blame us, say coaches

From The Mercury
Reported by Brett Stubbs

THE Devils' coaches have taken full responsibility for the team's plight -- including its club-record nine straight losses and its last-place standing.

Assistant coach Andrew Mellor said neither he nor head coach Daryn Cresswell would pass the buck.

"Myself and Daryn are not going to hide behind poor form," Mellor said, standing in at yesterday's press conference for Cresswell, who was on the North-West Coast.

"The buck stops with the coaches and we have to keep working just as hard as the players until we come up with the right mix. There is no doubt about it."

But Mellor said the staff members felt no pressure to hold their jobs.

"We have got the full support of the board here at Tassie and everyone knows while we can't accept losing that amount of games on the trot, there have been some circumstances that haven't always favoured us," he said.

"We are just thinking about the rest of this season and winning as many games as we can. We feel the pressure to win just as the players do."

Team with no beer

From The Mercury
Reported by James Bresnehan

THE Tasmanian Devils are a club with no beer again after coach Daryn Cresswell enforced his third alcohol ban of the season.

 Not a drop of booze will pass players' lips until Cresswell and Co learn the cause of the Devils' second-half fade-outs this barren VFL season.

If they beat the Bendigo Bombers at Bellerive on Saturday, they can imbibe to their heart's content.

But if the fade-out persists, it could be a dry run to September.

"I imposed the latest alcohol ban after we lost to Geelong two weeks ago," Cresswell said yesterday.

"Our efforts in the second half of games have been very poor. We need to focus on our players' bodies and diets.

"We'll leave no stone unturned in our desire to get our fitness levels and preparation 100 per cent right. We've been falling away in the second half our our games -- that could be due to preparation and diet not allowing us to run out games.

"Over the next two weeks we will be taking skin folds and doing weight checks and looking after the body as well as we possibly can.