Another season is underway and as teams hit the ice in their quest for the 2011-2012 NRL Championship title, we’re taking a closer look at each team in the league. The new series is called 19 Teams in 19 Days and we would like to encourage you to join in the discussion on Twitter by following www.twitter.com/nrllnr or by sending us an email at NRLchatter@nationalringetteleague.ca
Last season finish:
Regular season – 8th place
Eastern playoffs – won 2-1 over Rive Sud Revolution
NRL Championship – 10th place
Head coach: David Mainwood
Two questions with coach Mainwood:
What would it mean to you, as a coach, to win the NRL championship this season?
To win the NRL championship would be a huge accomplishment for our team. Obviously it would be a great honour, however there are many obstacles in our way. The biggest one is our competition, not only in our conference but teams from across the country. The stars would certainly have to be all in the right alignment for us to come out champions, however that is why they play the games, if we are lucky enough to qualify for the championships anything could happen.
What does your team have to do to win an NRL championship?
We have to think short term, we need to take it one game at a time. If we can set short term goals and succeed then it can only lead to bigger and better results in the end. We are carrying a much larger squad this year due to the players many other commitments. We have had issues over the last few seasons when it has come to fielding a full team. If we can get everyone on the same page this team does have talent and might make a few other teams take note.
The NRL nugget to know about this team:
This year, the Devils will join the ranks of “NRL teams with daughters of CFL players on them.” Cortney Keeble’s (Lac St Louis) father was a Montreal Alouette, and this year Lynita White will be following the athletic footsteps of her father, former BC Lion, Richard White.
The question to be answered:
Can this team take the step from a “competitive” team to a team that scares people? They have some of the tools they need, but they will need to make a big step to get over that hump this season.
What happened in the off-season:
The Devils added Amelie Dugas with their first pick in the Ottawa-region draft. Dugas is hardly a stranger to the Devils though, with 11 career games already under her belt from her time as an AP player in the past two seasons.
The (hidden) gem:
It has been a while, so many people would not necessarily realize that the Devils’ head coach, Dave Mainwood, coached Team Canada in 1998. As he was away from elite ringette for a spell, Mainwood was not necessarily a well known name in ringette, but ringette is certainly well known by Mainwood. The Devils will be prepared for their games this season.
Reason for optimism:
Any well coached team with Colleen Hagan is going to be strong on defence and high in enthusiasm. That combination can get you pretty far.
Reason for concern:
The Devils have struggled at times with having a full roster and this year they are icing a relatively short bench again. A key injury or two could be a real problem for this team.