Magpies have jobs on their to-do list

MANY football pundits consider Devonport will be merely treading water this season as it prepares for a change of direction in 2015.

Former East Devonport player Callan Newman will pull on the Devonport guernsey this season.

Former East Devonport player Callan Newman will pull on the Devonport guernsey this season.

The Magpies face their final year in the State League before being replaced by an eastern zone licence.

But one person who won't be standing still is head coach Max Brown.

``From a coaching point of view it's onwards and upwards for Devonport,'' he said.

``We're going in with the view of improving on whatever we did last year.''

Brown, a five-time premiership coach at Ulverstone, took over at Devonport in mid-stream last year after the sudden resignation of Paul Griffiths and set about developing and encouraging the young players within the team.

``We have 11 players who have come through the Tassie Mariners program and that's where the future lies,'' he said.

Brown said that while there would be a new State League team based at the Devonport Oval in 2015, there was still a lot of water to go under the bridge.

``We've had some big losses but we'll suck it and see and get on with the job,'' he said.

Devonport's losses include exciting youngster Alex Pearce, who was drafted to Fremantle in December, and the decision of vice-captain Justin Rodman and Jack Vanderfeen to return to Ulverstone in the NTFL.

Exciting half-forward Brennon Kendall has moved to Queensland and utility player Quade Byard has been sidelined with a knee operation.

Devonport has been busy over summer replacing those players and has come up with three talented recruits from Latrobe along with skilled small man Callan Newman from East Devonport.

Matthew Sheehan and Brayden Butler were both part of Latrobe's premiership win over Wynyard, while 17-year-old Brayden Stevenson showed plenty of potential and played in the reserves grand final.

Brown has high hopes for all four players and another newcomer, Scott Jaffray, son of former centre half-forward Brett Jaffray.

Jaffray has been playing at Wesley Vale in the NWFA but has accepted the challenge to move to a higher level.

``He is skilled by hand and foot and has worked hard on his fitness,'' Brown said.

Returning to Devonport this year is experienced defender Corey Plumbridge from a short retirement, along with Brad Symmons, who has overcome a knee injury that sidelined him in 2013.

Brown said Devonport would have an exciting start to the season with former Richmond champion Matthew Richardson making a guest appearance at the jumper presentation on March 26 and then the Good Friday clash with Burnie, which would feature ex-Hawks Campbell Brown and Brent Guerra.

``The fact that Brown and Guerra are fresh out of AFL football and both are playing for us in the Good Friday game against Burnie is exciting and has created a lot of interest around the club,'' Brown said.

Brown didn't discount the chances of Brown and Guerra playing for the Magpies again in the future.


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