Category: ISC

Pleased to be Devils again

They have taken vastly different routes back to Bishop Park but Brendan Frei and David Faamita are happy to be Devils again.

Frei has come from the Sydney Roosters back to the club where he played in the Under 16s and Under 18s before NRL teams called.

Faamita, who once played rugby union in Romania, has returned to Bishop Park after a brief stint with the Goodna Eagles revived his love of rugby league.

The Frei name is known at Bishop Park – Brendan’s brother Mitchell played for the Devils and their father Harry was a star cricketer a few blocks away for the Toombul club.

A late first-class debutant as a wily left-arm quick, Harry once ripped through a touring English team in a highlight of a sporting career that included a stint as an Australian Rules player in the VFL.

But Harry’s three sons, including young New Zealand Warriors signing Jackson, have made their names in rugby league.

They lived and trained together with the Sydney Roosters in a highlight of Brendan’s playing career.

“We all started at the Albany Creek Crushers in the Under 6s so the chance to all live and play together at the Sydney Roosters was something we couldn’t pass up,” Brendan, 22, said.

“It was a great time for us as brothers but we’ve gone our separate ways again now and I’m really pleased to be back here at Norths.

“This is a club that I’ve always wanted to play with again – I followed the Devils even when I was playing at the Storm and the Roosters so it’s special for me to be back here.”

Frei, a backrower who has also played in the centres, still aspires to reach NRL level after becoming part of the Roosters’ extended squad in 2018.

He knocked back offers from other clubs to join the Devils, where he has enjoyed coach Rohan Smith’s pre-season program over the last month.

Frei went to school at nearby Wavell High, where Faamita now works as a teacher aide.

The Wavell High-Devils connection is strong over many years, featuring many well-known players including veteran forward, Under 18 assistant coach and school teacher Guy Williams.

Faamita would like to resume his Intrust Super Cup career at Bishop Park, where he played in 2016 and 2017 after a stint with the South Logan Magpies.

In between the Devils and Magpies, Faamita played rugby union in Romania – a long way from the Centenary Panthers rugby league club where he played his first game of footy as a teenager.

“Living and playing in Romania was a great experience for me – I learned a lot and got to see a part of the world that I didn’t know much about,” Faamita said.

“I came back and played at Norths but, towards the end of 2017, I wasn’t enjoying my footy any more. I went to Goodna Eagles (in 2018) to play with some mates and I just loved it. It got me back to playing footy for fun.”

While the Goodna stint was a turning point for Faamita, 27, it left him with a serious knee injury that will delay his start to the 2019 season.

He has been working hard on his rehabilitation at the Devils and will aim for one of the backrow spots in a competitive race for Intrust Super Cup places.

“The ACL injury was a blessing in disguise for me because it’s proved to me how much I love playing footy,” Faamita said.

“I’ve been rehabbing at Norths since April. Rohan and Terry (CEO Terry Reader) were very generous in letting me come back here for rehab.

“The club has changed a lot in the last couple of years. There’s a great feeling here and I can’t wait to get back out there playing.”

Faamita is a flatmate of Devils winger Paul Ulberg, providing him with a good insight into how an overhauled Devils’ team made a charge at the finals in 2018.

 

Broadhurst’s journey hits Bishop Park

It’s been a hectic trip from Baralaba to Bishop Park but Connor Broadhurst’s rugby league journey is a long way from over.

Broadhurst is the Devils’ first high-profile recruit for 2019, moving from Rockhampton where he played in the centres this year for the Capras.

The stint was a homecoming of sorts for Broadhurst who grew up alongside childhood friend Corey Oates in Baralaba.

He would move to Bluff and Blackwater as a child before his league journey took him south to Parramatta, north to the Gold Coast Titans and eventually to the Burleigh Bears.

Broadhurst spent three years with the Bears, winning a premiership in 2016 and continuing his goal to reach the NRL.

Given the many places he’s called home, it’s easy to forget that Broadhurst is only 24 years old. He’s on track to play his 100th Intrust Super Cup game in 2019.

“I’ve been fortunate to get plenty of experience through the (NRL) Under 20s and then the Queensland Cup so that’s helped to develop me,” Broadhurst said.

“As a semi-professional or professional, the goal for most players is to reach the highest level of football. My goal is the NRL and that hunger is still strong.

“I won’t quit. I’ve sacrificed a few things over the years so I’m determined to get there.”

Broadhurst’s signing with Norths puts him within the wider Brisbane Broncos system with Oates, a teammate in their earliest footballing years.

Broadhurst was attracted to the Devils after speaking with coach Rohan Smith and watching from close range as Norths defeated the Capras late in the season.

“There was a lot of ball movement that night that isolated some of our forwards. That type of ball movement gets a lot of players involved,” Broadhurst said.

“Some of the players I know well who have been at Norths have spoken very highly of the system that Rohan has in place here.

“I spoke to Rohan and he had some ideas how I could improve my game so I’m confident I can continue to develop here.”

Broadhurst has already taken a teaching job since moving from Rockhampton. He’s teaching at Beenleigh State High School, which also has ties to the Broncos.

He completed a Diploma in Education to follow the degree in Exercise and Sports Science completed while he was a regular in the NRL Under 20 competition.

“I’m looking forward to living here and seeing what comes in 2019,” Broadhurst said.

“It’s been a good start to the pre-season.”

 

Devils lock in pre-season matches

The Devils have locked in pre-season clashes with Wynnum-Manly, Redcliffe and the Sunshine Coast.

The format mirrors the 2018 pre-season in the first two weeks with an away match at Wynnum Juniors on Saturday February 9 followed by a home clash with the Dolphins on February 16.

The Devils will travel to the Sunshine Coast to meet the Falcons on Saturday February 23.

All four teams will play across the three weekends – Intrust Super Cup, BRL, Hastings Deering Colts and Mal Meninga Cup Under 18.

After the trial matches, the Devils will enjoy a break before the competition opens on the weekend of March 9 and 10.

“We’re looking forward to this pre-season schedule because it provides all of our grades with a good platform to prepare for the season,” Devils CEO Terry Reader said.

“We enjoyed playing at Wynnum Juniors and then hosting Redcliffe earlier this year. We followed that with a trip to Burleigh that doubled as a team camp for our Intrust Super Cup team.

“We’re doing that again this year only we’ll be at the Sunshine Coast to play the Falcons.”

The Devils’ ISC squad will go into camp on the Friday and Saturday nights on the Sunshine Coast, where they will prepare to play a familiar face.

Popular Devil Todd Murphy has moved home to the Sunshine Coast to play for a new-look Falcons team.