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.
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.
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