Devils to go one better
TALK of going one better in 2015 has Isis Devils players, coaches and committee keenly awaiting the new season.
The Devils reached their first grand final in years only to fall to the much more experienced Wests Panthers outfit 42-28, but moves are well and truly underway for a more successful campaign next season.
Simon Ricciardi may have played his final game for the club, but he will try to guide the Devils to the premiership as coach.
Kevin Grant took over the club’s presidency at the Devils’ AGM a few weeks ago, with outgoing president Bill Trevor retained as vice president.
Trevor said much of the squad was already resigned for the season, adding the grand final experience would only help the players.
“Simon was the only bloke to have played in a grand final before this year,” Trevor said.
“I’d say we’ve resigned about 80% of our roster for next season.”
Trevor said Bundaberg Rugby League had considered expanding the competition to an eight-team, three-round format, and as a result the side would not return to preseason training until early next year.
“There will definitely be blokes out there doing their own thing, but I’d say they’d possibly return in January,” Trevor said.
The Devils’ focus on retention means the club will most likely not have any big-name signings, though Trevor was delighted at the prospect of fielding three sides in 2015.
“We’ll have a team in all three grades for the first time in about 10 years,” Trevor said.
While trial games are still a long way off, Trevor said the Devils would most likely play preseason fixtures against Nambour Crushers and a side from Gladstone.
COACH: Simon Ricciardi retired in his playing capacity after the 2014 grand final.