Player depth a bonus
THE most successful season ever for the Gympie Devils rugby league side has been put down to player depth by first year coach John Greensill.
Greensill said the wealth of talent on offer to the coaching staff during the 2010 season had helped the Devils reach their first ever grand final.
He said last year the team nearly made it, but the loss of key players toward the end of the 2009 season cruelled the Devils’ final chances.
“Even with injuries this year we have been able to win games and keep our finals dream alive,” Greensill said.
“This year, the addition of Barry (Berrigan) and the two Fijians has given the team extra depth.”
Greensill was instrumental in getting ex-NRL star Berrigan to join with the Devils.
Greensill had played most of his junior football alongside Berrigan in Brisbane.
Their parents were best friends and they are good mates.
Greensill saw Berrigan at a wedding and heard he got clearance from a career ending neck injury.
From there, the rest is history.
Greensill said players like Berrigan and Darren Burns helped draw people to the club. But it wasn’t just imported players who built the team, the inclusion of young up-and-coming locals really gelled the team and built morale.
The Devils’ big forwards are easily the biggest in the league, their strong running and aggressive defence has been a cornerstone of many wins.
“You can’t go past Kurt Fleming, Riley McDowall and Trent Callaghan,” Greensill said.
“They are 80-minute players, we have the stand out forward pack.”
The forwards’ dominance has been helped by one of the quickest backlines going.
Greensill rates Ben Ashford and Fijian Tobs Viravu as two of the quickest players in the competition and said Devils’ halfback Nick Swan has had a great year.