Senior Assistant Coach Sam Bates has committed to season 2021 at the Devils under Steve Cochrane. Sam is an integral part of our coaching staff and his experience and leadership is valued by our players and the Club is very happy he is continuing in his role.
Sam played over 300 senior games, including premierships and is an EFNL and Devils Life member. Sam also coached our Development team in 2018.
The Devils are fortunate in having the caliber of Sam coaching our players. His enthusiasm and care for our players well being and development is outstanding. The club is proud to have quality coaches available for all our players.
Paul Riley will continue as the Devils U19 coach for season 2021. The club is excited by the quality and numbers of U19’s players joining the club, and we wanted the experienced and popular Paul Riley in charge of our young future senior players.
It can be a challenging age in football terms, and strong consistent messages are important along with an attitude of genuine support for young players as they transition from boys to men’s footy.
Paul has the skills and experience to make a difference. Paul led the U19’s in 2019 to finals, and whilst we were confident for 2020, we have even more to look forward to in 2021. This will be Paul’s 4th season in charge of our U19’s and the club is proud to have Paul Riley in this role.
Paul Payne will be the Development coach at the Devils for 2021. Paul was appointed for the abandoned 2020 season, so we are very pleased he has committed to the club for 2021.
The development of players from U19 to Senior level is a vital role in all clubs. Paul has the skills and experience to help our younger players develop into senior footballers, and we are very pleased he will be involved in 2021.
Paul was a Devils player, who also played footy at VFA level back in the day. Paul has been coaching junior teams in recent years, but he has plenty experience at senior level having coached the Devils to finals previously.
Keeping the Devils strong for 2021 With the 2020 season abandoned, our focus is now on season 2021. Previously we told you Senior Coach Steve Cochrane has committed to season 2021. We are also pleased to report we expect to retain most senior and U19 players on our list under the new conditions (significant salary cap reduction) the league has put in place. We are well placed to resume training and prepare for 2021 as soon as we are allowed.
As most of our supporters appreciate, there are a number of costs that continue regardless of a season being played, but the club has been able to meet its obligations. However, we do need to raise funds so we can continue to be a strong and viable club in Division 1. So, we are running a special cash raffle for 2020,
We are urging all supporters and players to chip in if they can to help keep the Devils stay strong for 2021 and grab a chance to win $4,000 in cash. 1st ticket drawn is the winner, but there is a 2nd & 3rd cash prize too.
We are only selling 250 tickets, and we encourage those who can to buy multiple tickets instead of their usual membership – but only if you can. The winner will be drawn at 6pm October 31st 2020.
To buy, please transfer to the clubs bank account $100 per ticket with your name as the reference. The sooner the better if possible:
Many are mourning the passing of Ian “Rabbit” Birkett on September 1st 2020. He had an enormous impact on people throughout his life, including many young men at the Devils. Rabbit is the father of senior Devils premiership player Jack Birkett.
Ian was a fantastic footballer who played over 400 senior games with Burwood/Mt.Waverley FC including senior premierships, multiple senior comp Best & Fairests and comp goal kicking awards. On top of that, Rabbit was recently named in the Southern League Hall of Fame. Truly a loyal and humble champion of local footy.
Many players at the Devils will remember Rabbit as a strong leader having coached the U18 Devils to a premiership in 2010. Rabbit knew plenty about footy and gave his time and care to help our players enjoy the game and develop as young men. We still benefit from the influence of Ian Birkett.
Rabbit was tireless in any role he had at the Devils. He brilliantly led the fitness programs in preseasons, which gave the Devils a competitive edge in a glory period of the club. Ian was also an assistant coach for the Devils and his influence over many as a trusted mentor was priceless.
We appreciate Ian was an important contributor to other communities and will be remembered fondly. We are one club that is all the better because of Ian “Rabbit” Birkett being a part of it.
We offer our sincere condolences to Ian’s family in this sad time.
The Funeral will be held on Thursday 17th from midday. Here is the link to view.
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