Devil in de­tail for new-look Demons

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Looklocal - Chris Pike

IT IS a dis­tinctly new-look Perth com­ing into the 2015 WAFL Premier­ship sea­son with a new coach, foot­ball manager, cap­tain and a bevy of player changes as the Demons at­tempt to rise up the lad­der.

The Demons started their 2014 sea­son strongly beat­ing Clare­mont and South Fre­man­tle to start with, but they recorded just the one more victory the en­tire cam­paign, in­clud­ing a hor­ror 14-match los­ing streak to fin­ish off with, as they ended with the wooden spoon.

The sea­son in­cluded a changeover in coach, with Damien McMa­hon de­part­ing and Trevor Wil­liams tak­ing over in a care­taker ca­pac­ity.

For­mer Carl­ton AFL and East Fre­man­tle WAFL premier­ship player Earl Spald­ing has now taken over the helm.

There have also been some key play­ers de­part­ing, in­clud­ing cap­tain Paul Be­van, Cale Morton, Haydn Busher, Gerald Ugle, Jared Risol and Nick Kane, but the Demons are con­fi­dent that they have been able to put to­gether a play­ing squad that will be com­pet­i­tive.

Per­haps the big­gest ad­di­tion will be the re­turn of 2013 fairest and best win­ner Brett Hodge af­ter the mid­fielder missed the en- tire 2014 cam­paign through in­jury.

He will now be able to form what looks to be a solid mid­field con­sist­ing of new cap­tain and reign­ing Butcher Medal win­ner Dene White and last year’s late sea­son re­cruit from East Fre­man­tle Ai­dan Tropi­ano.

There are some handy ad­di­tions to the Perth squad as well, with small de­fender Ja­cob Payne on board from East Perth, key de­fender Brent Latch join­ing from Swan Dis­tricts and tal­ented trio Liam McKenna, Kelvin Lawrence and Toby Gianatti join­ing from Peel Thun­der.

Gianatti only played seven league matches with Peel in 2014 and 11 in 2013, but in 2012 was one of the bet­ter small de- fend­ers in the com­pe­ti­tion, fin­ish­ing third in the Thun­der’s fairest and best award.

McKenna has only man­aged to break through for 18 league matches since mak­ing his de­but in 2010 and just one in 2014, but he racked up 28 pos­ses­sions and last sea­son in the Re­serves he av­er­aged 28.9 dis­pos­als a game.

The 22-year-old is a ball mag­net and that is some­thing Perth will look to get more use out of.

Then there is Lawrence, who is a tal­ented small for­ward and hav­ing pre­vi­ously been on an AFL list with Mel­bourne, if he can again find his best form he will be a ter­rific ad­di­tion to the Perth line-up in 2015.

Perth’s new foot­ball manager is Tyson Beat­tie, who is com­ing off time work­ing with Chan­nel 9 as sports re­porter and pre­sen­ter, and prior to that he spent eight years in the United States play­ing Amer­i­can foot­ball as a punter with In­di­ana Uni­ver­sity and later work­ing at the col­lege.

He has been im­pressed with how the trio from Peel have quickly set­tled in as they be­came part of the trans­fer deal that saw Ugle leave the Demons for the Thun­der.

Pic­ture: Ker­rie-Ann Pen­dal

Demons Ben Power, Ryan Gray, cap­tain Dene White and Daniel Aran­gio.

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