Devonport back in the footy fold at Broady

Brett Andrews has a new right hand man at Broadbeach, with Craig Devonport appointed as his senior assistant coach for 2016.

While the coaching game might be new for Devonport, being involved in an elite environment is not.

He played 95 VFL/AFL games at St Kilda and Carlton between 1989 and 1996, kicked 82 goals, and transformed himself from a forward to midfield/defender across his career.

Since retiring, football has taken a back seat in Devonport’s life… that is until now.

“I’ve stayed away from football for 18 years. I’ve been involved in my kids sports, always barracked for the Saints, always watched them, but never had that burning desire to be around footy clubs for a bit after being around them for so long,” Devonport said.

It was close friend Andrews who gave him a buzz and invited him down to H&A Oval, and it didn’t take long for Devonport to realise just how much he had missed it.

“Brett Andrews is a mate of mine, and last year after he took over he asked if I wanted to come down and help with the skills,” he said.

“He asked me to come down one night a week. After the first week I went up to him and said can I ask you a question, and before I even asked he had said yes you can.

“I said I haven’t even asked yet, and he said I know you’re going to ask to be assistant coach and become full time.

“I said yes I was, and that was that.”

It may have been a while between footballing drinks, but Devonport says you don’t forget what you learn in the elite environment.

“Everything I have done is applicable, back then and now. I’ve been fortunate enough the be friends with Matty Lappin and Rodney Eade, so they have invited me down to watch training as often as I like,” he said.

“The game has changed so much in how they train and what they do, but the basic things are still there.

“All the basis of skills are still there. You’ve still got to have your head over the ball, still got to have your head over the right knee, all those things are never going to change, so to have that Gold Coast insight has been really handy.”

While his game day influence will be massive, don’t expect to hear the occasional spray being delivered; he’ll leave that one to Andrews.

“Brett gives the better spray for sure, I’m a bit more diplomatic with how I speak, he can let loose like a 70’s and 80’s coach at times,” Devonport laughed.

“But having said that, there will be more kicks on the backside than pats on the back. The pats on the back will come, but at the right time.”

One thing is for sure though; he wouldn’t be there if he didn’t love being back involved.

“I’m just enjoying it because I want to be there. To be able to make a change and see that change come through, to see kids wanting to learn, that’s really fulfilling,” he said.

It’s only been a few months, and his toe has only just been dipped, but this could be the start of another journey in football for Devonport.

“I think [I could pursue it further]. Look I really don’t know. It’s been nice that people are saying I’m going well, that’s been nice to hear because you sort of never know,” he said.

“To be around the club like the Gold Coast SUNS with such young kids does interest me a lot, but once again, it has been three months, there is a long way to go. I’ve got this year to make a difference, and then see how it goes after that.”

The dynamic duo of Andrews and Devonport will first be seen during the Alpha Sport Pre-Season Cup, before Broadbeach kick off their 2016 QAFL campaign on April 2 at home against Morningside.

By Andrew Wiles

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