Devils’ young focus

Keilor Park is hoping to build on last year. (Ljubica Vrankovic) 333186_07

Tara Murray

Keilor Park is expecting to bring a young exciting brand of play to the Essendon District Football League division 1 competition this year.

After a late coaching change before Christmas, the Devils have hit the track hard in preparation for the season.

Football manager Scott Kempster said they were pretty happy with how things were tracking.

“We’ve bought in some young talent from a recruiting point of view,” he said. “We’ve lost a bit of experience with Robbie Castello and Vinny ??? leaving.

“We’ve gained a bit of young talent, it’s the way it has evolved. Our playing list is young and we’ve attracted young talent and hopefully they’ll be here for a long time.”

Kempster said many of the players joining the club were guys that had wanted more opportunities at a lower level.

He said they would get that at the Devils.

Zachary Steinhoff-Pino, Mitchell Meredith, Cooper Bryant and Kyall Parker are among the signings announced by the Devils on their Facebook page.

Parker, whose father Kyall Parker played for the club, finished third in the Western Region Football League division 3 best and fairest last season, kicking 80 goals.

Kempster said Parker was an exciting prospect and said they were unsure what end he would play with a number of different forward options.

Off field, Kempster said the coaching group of Leigh Coles, Colby Blyth and Jesse Smith was going really well.

“They’re working together really well and are on the same page,” he said. “We’re really happy with the coaching appointments.”

Kempster said they were unsure whether Blyth would pull on the boots.

For the Devils it’s season number two in division 1. Kempster they would use the experience of last year to help build this year.

“We were surprised how well we went last year with the number of players we’ve lost,” he said.

“We were really competitive and lost a lot of close games. We know what is required and we’ve got a bit more depth in the middle.

“That was our primary focus, to beef up the midfield.”

It’s also been an exciting time for the Devils as they have a women’s side this year,

The club has previously had one, but hasn’t the past few years.

Kempster said they had started with a blank canvas and had about 30 players. The side will play in division 1 this season.

The Devils men’s side will kick off their season on Good Friday against Hillside at Keilor Park Recreation Reserve.

Kempster said they were keen to take on the Sharks and see how they stack up.

“Robbie plays down there and Jake Gatto down there as well.

“We’re looking forward to it, it’ll be a big challenge as they have recruited well and it’ll give us some indication of what improvements we need to make.

“We are excited and we think we’ll build during the season.”