Devils welcome gun recruits as Season 2020 restart looms
RUGBY LEAGUE: A concrete return date for community footy remains unclear, but the Gympie Devils have taken the extended time on the sidelines to announce a raft of new signings to their A-grade squad for Season 2020.
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The seven new faces have barely had time to take the field in their new colours, but each have impressed in one way or another as the club firms for a return to the field in the near future.
Former Easts Tigers hooker Haydin Elsebach is expected to bring a wealth of experience to the Devils from dummy half, while fullback/centre Jake Egan arrives with a background in the Sunshine Coast Falcons jersey.
Kade Tennyson (Brisbane Broncos Under 20s program) and Vincent Law (Northern Pride) bring impressive backgrounds with them, and “blistering” centre Joe Wade scored four tries in the Devils’ Aspley trial in his first game after moving to the region from Moree, NSW.
Terry “TJ” Horne joins the club from the Hervey Bay Seagulls, and former Devils premiership lock-forward Nick Wheeler returns after years away from the game.
Devils coach Michael Buckley said the new signings had provided hot competition for spots in the A-grade squad.
“No one’s a walk up start, that’s for sure. They’ve brought a lot more keenness to the squad, when we were training we had a huge turnaround from the year before,” Buckley said.
“Guys like Joey Wade have lapped it up, he’s trained well and shown he’s a quality footballer. Vincent Law is a likely looking player, he definitely looks like he’s got the goods.
“Jake’s played 18s and 20s for the Falcons, he’s a quality player. Haydin’s very sharp out of dummy half, and he’ll add a lot to our side defensively.”
“A lot of these guys have known each other through the years, and they’ve decided to play a bit of footy and have a bit of fun, and we’ll just see where it leads us.
“It’s given them some confidence that they’re going to be competitive.”
Buckley said the Devils had been training under social distancing restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic using detailed fitness programs.
“All the clubs will be in a similar boat when we do come back. It’s a bit like the NRL I suppose and what (Anthony) Seibold said, whoever gets through this the best will be hard to beat,” he said.