Devil in detail for new-look Demons
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.
Demons Ben Power, Ryan Gray, captain Dene White and Daniel Arangio.