Plenty of changes have been happening at North Hobart Oval over the summer as a new-look Demons side looks to embrace the f
Home Ground: North Hobart Oval
Guernsey Colours: Red and Blue
Club President: Craig Martin
Head Coach: Richard ‘Bear’ Robinson
Captain: Hugh Williams
Biggest rival: Tigers
Key Fixtures: Rd 1 v Tigers at North Hobart Oval, Rd Round 4 v Glenorchy at KGV, Rd 9 v Launceston at North Hobart Oval, Rd 20 v Lauderdale at North Hobart Oval
The Demons had an up and down 2017, showing plenty of promise to finish with a 9-9 win-loss record. This ratio saw the Demons finish level on points with Launceston, but outside the top five on percentage.
A thrilling one-point win over historical rival Clarence at Blundstone Arena in round seven was a big highlight for the Demons while a 27-point win over Launceston the very next week created plenty of cause for optimism after their campaign got off to a shaky start with a big loss to rival Glenorchy in round one.
Another big scalp would have secured the Demons a finals berth but ultimately a ticket to September action was a bridge too far, with the Demons scoring nearly 300 fewer points than Launceston, despite finishing with the same win-loss ratio indicative of the side’s struggles to kick a winning score – a clear avenue for development in 2018.
Key Ins: Nathan McCulloch (Waverley Blues – VIC)
Key Outs: Will Campbell (Tigers), Ryan Matthews (Tigers), Nic Hutchinson (Tigers), Jake Doran (Tigers), Blake Grant (Tigers), Sam Duigan (Tigers), Heath Thompson (Tigers), Liam Azzopardi (SFL), Nicholas Baker (Lauderdale)
A new year is considered by many to be a fresh start and this is certainly the case for the revamped North Hobart Football Club.
Playing as the Hobart City Demons for four seasons, the Dees have gone back to the future, becoming the North Hobart Demons once again.
This significant name change is not the only shake up we have seen at North Hobart Oval across the summer, however, with a new coach and a raft of changes in playing personnel.
Former assistant coach Richard ‘Bear’ Robinson has been appointed senior coach for 2018, stepping up to fill the void left by Kane Richter.
Meanwhile former assistant Trent Baumeler has also moved from the club, taking the reins at the Tigers.
Seven players have joined Baumeler in moving down the Southern Outlet including midfield maestros Will Campbell and Ryan Matthews and young gun Nic Hutchinson.
The Demons insist they are not fazed by these changes, however, with Robinson and captain Hugh Williams citing a sense of positivity and possibility among the group.
“We are very excited for round one. The preseason has gone really quickly and there has been a great deal of positivity throughout the last month,” Robinson said.
“It has been well documented that we have lost a few players to the Tigers and it has been a bit tough but the players have left for whatever reason and you just have to worry about who you do have and focus on putting time in them,” Williams said.
The Demons will be smarting after finishing the 2017 season outside the top five due to percentage, with a loss to the Tigers in round three critical in determining the Demons’ fate.
The Demons will host the Tigers in round one, and although the two teams have plenty of history, Williams played down how this will iinfluence the Demons’ approach.
“It is good scheduling – round one is always a big game. We have had a good preseason and the guys are ready to play football.
“Are the guys going to try and hit harder against the Tigers because of those seven players moving? I’m not sure – I think everyone will be going in hard anyway.
“We haven’t mentioned anything different about round one. It wouldn’t matter who it is against, we would play it in the same way,” Williams said.
The Demons welcome back former player Nathan McCulloch, who has returned to Hobart after several years playing for Waverley in Melbourne while young gun Baxter Norton will also loom as an important player as the Demons look to continue the improvement shown last season.
The influence of Robinson on the group will also be significant, with the well-liked figure settling in to his new role.
“There are always challenges [to coaching].
“As a senior coach I am really excited for training. Training is quite structured and now that the games are starting up I can’t wait for round one,” ‘Bear’ said.
Robinson believes the two northern clubs will pose the biggest threat for the 2018 flag.
“I still think North Launceston are the team to beat- they have been so successful in recent years and really have been the benchmark.
“Launceston have also recruited really well and on paper they look to be a really competitive side,” he said.
The Demons will host the Tigers on Friday 30 March at North Hobart Oval.