Former popular Wantirna South player Andrew O’Neill sadly passed away Sunday August 2nd 2020. Andrew played at the club in 80’s & 90’s and was a Reserves premiership player for the club in 1995. Many a Devils player walked taller with the big fella in the team.
He had a heart of gold and often talked about the good old days playing footy at the Devils. He was a keen follower of the clubs fortunes and enjoyed coming to the odd home game to see the boys strut their stuff.
Andrew was in Mallacootta spending time with his father and was enjoying a relaxing lifestyle. We have lost a good man in Andrew O’Neill. Our thoughts go out to Andrew’s partner Heather, and his children who are really hurting in this sad time for them.
The Devils are very happy that Senior Coach Steve Cochrane recently committed to season 2021. Steve’s experience and knowledge of footy is enormous and he is highly respected by our players and supporters.
After a tight Div 1 season in 2019 the Devils narrowly avoided relegation under Steve, but the club has since recruited strongly with a focus on the medium term. We were feeling quietly confident we could be there when the whips are cracking, and we still are for 2021.
So we wont be playing this year, but Steve’s enthusiasm and care for our club and players has meant he wants to coach this group in what will be a very exciting year in 2021. Steve Draper – President Rick Moloney – Vice President
What’s going on: The 2020 season has been abandoned. There will be no hybrid or alternative seasons or arrangements made to play any footy this year. After a very good pre-season our Senior players didn’t get to play any proper practice games and the group training for 2020 ended March 12th. The U19’s did play a good practice game with a slim win over Old Carey on March 14th.
There was hope of a half season starting in July, but the Victorian Government’s continued and reinforced restrictions meant no competition was possible. This was disappointing for all our players and supporters as we felt we had put together a squad good enough to be a force this year.
The good news is, we expect to retain all the players and coaches for 2021 and with Senior Coach Steve Cochrane continuing in the role we are well placed to de ready for next season. We hope to run a couple of social functions by the end of the year too including the Team of the Decade (2010-2019) event which will be a great night to honor our best players of the past decade.
Our corporate support has been amazing in these trying times. All our major partners have re- committed to supporting the Devils in 2021, and this includes keeping many of our players employed where they can.
Our employer partners ASI Electrics, Prime Electrical and Sullivans (Koray) offer our players genuine employment opportunities and this has never been more valuable to our community than now. On behalf of our players – Thank you to our partners.
We hope to see all supporters at the club as soon as we are allowed. We will certainly enjoy it after having an enforced spell.
Shout out for Devils Senior player Jackson Freeman, who will run in the Melbourne marathon to raise awareness for Pink Elephants. Applaud, like and donate, even train with him. We are proud to support people who do good for others.
I’m sure most of you know by now that the 2020 footy season has been cancelled as of today. I and many others grimly held onto the hope we would play this year, but that’s probably because we just wanted it to happen – We are Footy tragics at the Devils.
In the end the Victorian Government restrictions have meant the leagues had to make the call to abandon 2020 and return in 2021.
It is disappointing we have to wait until next year to strut our stuff on the field but that’s the way it is. That doesn’t mean we wont be getting together off the field. We plan to hold a couple of great nights at the club when the restrictions allow us. We are a footy club afterall. We hope to see all supporters and players at these nights.
We will keep our club strong and be ready to take on our rivals in 2021.
The latest from the EFNL – Timelines towards a return to footy for 2020. The AFL are moving to return on June 11th, but local footy will have to wait and see for now. The decision to start the 2020 season will need to support the safety & the financial viability of all participants.
The Devils will adapt to whatever challenges arise without breaching any guidelines. We will continue to focus on what we can do to play the game we love and keep our club strong – That wont change
One important benefit of being part of a footy club or any team sport club is the camaraderie between people with a shared interest. This gives us a sense of belonging to something bigger than ourselves that is enjoyable and healthy.
All our players, coaches & supporters are missing the excitement of the footy season not starting this week, but we understand the situation we are all in. We will continue to comply with all the directions and advice of Government and Medical authorities.
No one can predict with confidence when restrictions and social distancing will lift, Until we know more, our club will continue to support our amazing group of enthusiastic players and encourage them as they keep active and connected with each other.
We will need to be resilient that’s for sure, and having friends to talk with is more important than ever. We are encouraging all our players to call each other regularly. Supporters too.
The Devils is not just a footy club, we are a place full of friends, so lets all keep in touch and support each other.
Texts and Facebook posts are ok, but having a chat with a friend or a family member is better.
Some of us may be struggling though, so It’s important we understand and support each other where we can. That’s what friends do.
The EFNL has advised, the season start has been further delayed to May 31st. We are living through a unique situation in our lifetimes and we don’t really know what happens next, so it’s better to be safe than sorry for the next few weeks. We will keep you updated here, in the meantime please keep active and healthy.