GYMPIE Devils A Grade coach John Greensill says his players are eager to see out the pre-season so they can sink their teeth into the Sunshine Coast top division competition.
A fortnight remains of the pre-season and the Devils continued to hone their skills by competing in a Nines carnival in Maroochydore at the weekend.
With play spread across two days, the Devils played three nine-a-side games on Saturday and a semi-final on Sunday.
Although bundled out in the semi-final by a fired up Maroochydore outfit to the tune of 10-8, the Devils put in a good showing the day before.
Of the team’s three matches, the Gympie boys won two against Noosa and Kawana respectively before posting a loss against Nambour.
Greensill said injuries played a role in the loss to Nambour.
“We had a few injuries at this point and we didn’t want to risk anything in the pre-season, so we withdrew those players to rest,” he said.
Greensill said the Devils were keen to do well, but weren’t putting too much emphasis on a winning result.
“At the end of the day, no one remembers who won the Nines competition,” he said.
“We wanted to use the competition as a chance to continue the conditioning of our big forwards.”
Devils player Trent Callaghan, named best and fairest last year, made his long awaited return to the field after injury and although unsteady at first, by the end of the weekend was starting to find his feet.
“It’s great to have Trent back and his timing was starting to click into place by the end of competition,” Greensill said.
The Devils will play their first round match away against arch rivals Noosa Pirates in a fortnight. It’s an encounter tipped to be full of feeling and Greensill says a victory would be an ideal start to the season.