MENTOR: Darren Burns says he will not coach the Devils in 2017.
MENTOR: Darren Burns says he will not coach the Devils in 2017. Jacob Carson

No pressure as Devils need coach and president

RUGBY LEAGUE: Darren Burns will step down as the Gympie Devils rugby league coach in 2017 leaving the club with two senior positions to fill.

The former Bronco and Rabbitoh will stay on in a mentoring roll but not take the reigns as official coach.

After an 11 year association with the Devils, Burns saw premiership success in 2010 and has overseen the development of several high profile junior players.

But like many, a mixture of family and work commitments was behind the decision to vacate the position, with the Broncos development officer out of town for work every second week.

Administratively he will stay on the Devils committee in "some capacity” but declined to elaborate on a specific roll.

The news comes weeks after long serving president Jim Bougoure announced he would not be at the helm in 2017 after five years in charge of the club.

However, Burns did say that regardless of who steps in next season, he was confident the club would field strong team across the grades.

"I would like to see all three grades but a question mark hangs over division one,” he said.

"Fielding two division 2 teams may also be an option.”

While 2016 was marred with a multitude of issues, the Devils still managed to be competitive when at their best.

A host of the club's under-18 team will be eligible for the top grade selection this season and it is a scenario club officials are hoping will lend to an increase in numbers.

The Devils will host a meeting on Tuesday night at 6.30pm at Jack Stokes oval to assess the 2017 season.

Gympie Times


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