Vale Shane ‘Devo’ Devers

Posted on - Latest News, Featured, West Brunswick

The VAFA extends its sincerest & heartfelt condolences to the family of Shane Devers, his friends and the West Brunswick Amateur Football Club after Shane’s sudden passing. May he rest in peace.

“West Brunswick Amateur Football Club is a family in mourning. On Wednesday 31 August 2016, Shane ‘Devo’ Devers passed away. He was 29 years-old. Ten days earlier he captain-co-coached our thirds team in a grand final. The night before his passing he trained the house down. He was in the prime of his life and we miss him more than words could ever describe.

Shane played 107 games for West Brunswick since his debut in 2009, having arrived from Castlemaine. He was a gun forward pocket who played largely in the seniors for the first portion of his career. In 2014 he was leading the goal kicking in the reserves with 34 goals from 14 matches until he did his ACL only a few weeks out from finals. Shane was an incredibly positive person. Doing his knee didn’t shake his commitment to football, his teammates or the club.

Our club had long talked about fielding a third open age side. Getting numbers wasn’t really the problem, it was the off-field support we were unsure about. In 2015, Shane said “I’ll do it.” He coached our inaugural thirds team in the Club XVIII (2) competition – but he was so much more than a coach. He was team manager, footy operations, timekeeper, scoreboard operator, bar and canteen person all rolled into one. While the seniors and reserves were playing elsewhere, Shane was up and about very early on a Saturday morning marshalling his players – a lot of whom had never played Australian Rules football.

Having a third team at West Brunswick not only meant another 26 players got a game on Saturday, it created a lot more depth which saw several players play in the thirds, reserves and seniors in the one season. His efforts in 2015 were a huge contributor to the club claiming the reserves and senior premierships that year – a feat never before achieved in the club’s 57-year history.

This year Shane took the reins of the thirds again, this time with another person at the helm. Sam Clarke and Shane Devers co-coached the side, which allowed them both to play. In only their second year, the thirds claimed the minor premiership and made it all the way to the grand final. Despite the team falling short by 13 points on grand final day, the ever-positive Shane beamed with pride at what the side had achieved, turning what normally would be a sad day for players into a day of recognising and celebrating a wonderful season punctuated by many special moments on the field and off the field.

Shane was the ultimate club person. He never missed a training session and was often the first one there setting up and the last one to leave. On Saturdays he’d typically put up the pads on the goalposts before 9am, coach and play in the thirds, run water for the seconds, do the scoreboard for the firsts, tap the kegs in the bar for the post-game drinks, and sell the raffle tickets for the meat tray. He was on the committee for several years, taking on the social events, bar and canteen, footy operations, as well as putting his hand up for anything that needed doing.

This year saw the formation of another team at West Brunswick: the women’s. In our very first game, which was an AFL 9s match against Bulleen Templestowe in Round 5, it was Shane who put his hand up that day and along with Pat McDonald said “I’m keen to coach.” Shane was one of the women’s team’s biggest supporters: going to every match, bringing out gear, helping out with training, and encouraging every new face to enjoy the experience of playing football at West Brunswick.

More than any football related exploit, Shane was a beautiful human being: a gentle person who wanted nothing more than to get the best out of himself and those around him. And he did that in spades. Through his actions on and off the field at the football club, he inspired so many people to do and give more. Our club is so much stronger and the bond between players has never been greater thanks to Shane. We’re proud of him. We’re thankful to his parents Lindsay and Marie for raising such a fine young man. We’re heartbroken.”

– Ben Lichtenstein (West Brunswick AFC President)