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IN: Stephen Crack (Mathoura), Paul Greenwood, Jeff Mitchell (Waratah, NT), Stephen Mulqueen (Wangaratta Rovers), Steve Thompson (Waratah, NT), Randall Strongman (Deniliquin), Jim Tolsher

OUT: Norm Alexander, Dom Ammendolia, Peter Arnell, Peter Carey (Coleambally), Pat Dwyer, Peter Dwyer, Ashley Faulkner, Bob Greenwood (Coleambally), Glen Harrison (Coleambally), Graham Manning, Peter Matuska, Alan McGann, Mick O'Brien, Chris O'Dwyer (Coleambally), Dennis Schmetzer (Whitton), Ian Wade (Coleambally).


SOUTH West football season begins on Sunday and on account of Coolamon having facility problems, Griffith will play Coolamon at home on the Ex-Servicemen's Oval. This should give Griffith supporters an early start to the season as the following Sunday have a bye. They then play Leeton the following Saturday honouring an agreement between Leeton and Griffith over the past few years to play Saturday instead of Sunday.
Though badly beaten in the first 18 by Ardlethan last Sunday the Swans are confident of fielding a stronger side against Coolamon. Senior players who went away for Easter will be back in the side.

The Swans hope to get a lot of drive from Steve Mulqueen at centre half forward. Steve played for Wangaratta Rovers in the Ovens and Murray League. Jeff Mitchell who played for Griffith two years ago, will start in the centre.

Griffith will reply on Mitchell to get the ball to the forward line and new full forward Martie O'Donnell.

Griffith have experimented with Drew Luhrs at centre halfback. He will have the job of holding Coolamon's assistant coach Peter Stephens who played with Geelong.  Around the packs, Griffith should get plenty of drive from rovers Kel Turner and Robbie Owen who have been playing well in practice matches.
Griffith will have a number of young local players in the first 18 this year. One "senior" player who will be lining up with the firsts will be Sid Robins. Robins is non-paying coach of the second 18. Robins' team had a win against Ardlethan last week and hope to continue this winning streak, though mostly young they are performing well, and supporters can look forward to good performances from players such as Tony Dillon, Rob Gamble, David Taylor, Mike Jones and "old stager" Terry Bennett who "happily" is lining up again. (The Area News - Friday, April 11, 1980).

Round 1 - Sunday April 13, 1980 at Ex-Servicemen's Oval

Griffith ........... 4.4 .. 5.7 .. 8.9 .. 9.10 (64)

Coolamon .... 3.4 .. 6.8 .. 8.15 .. 12.21 (93)

Goals - Griffith: R Owen 2, S Mulqueen 2, J Mitchell, D Luhrs, M O'Donnell, S Crump, N Brand

Coolamon: G Manglesdolf 4, P Maloney 2, A Pattison, S Bredin, N Pleming, P Stephens, B Nation, M Buchanan

Best - Griffith: J Mitchell, R Owen, Stephen Best, K Turner, S Robins

Coolamon: G Buchanan, G Manglesdolf, S Bredin, W Roberts

Griffith: Jeff Mitchell, Stephen Brand, Sid Robins, Peter McGrath, Stephen Mulqueen*, Shane Best, Stephen Best, John Toscan*, Neville Brand, Gerard Toscan, Stephen Crump*, Steve Thompson*, John Seidel, Drew Luhrs, Garry Owen, Martin O'Donnell, Kelvin Turner, Robbie Owen, Robin Parisotto*, Wayne Bottcher*

Umpire: ---------

Other matches - SUN: Ardlethan 17.14 (116) def AP-M 15.8 (98), GG-M 16.22 (118) def Leeton 13.6 (84), Narrandera 19.10 (124) def Ganmain 15.17 (107; Turvey Park, bye

Reserves: Griffith 15.10 (100) d Coolamon 7.16 (58)

Under 19: Coolamon 17.15 (117) d Griffith 10.7 (67)

Match report: The Griffith Swans were not afraid to mix-it with Coolamon and kept in the game until the final period of the game until the Grasshoppers sealed their deserved win with a run of three goals as the game was dying.
It was a good opening for the Grasshoppers - themselves relying mainly upon their local talents boosted by playing-coach Ray O'Connor and his highly rated assistant ex-Geelong player Peter Stephens. Yet the Swans were just as elated - rated clear underdogs and clearly undermanned. With many of their players with only a mere handful of senior games as their qualification, the eager Swans tore into the match as though their lives depended on the result.
Their performance had the stamp of class as they had running linkmen all around the ground but with special efforts coming from rovers Robbie Owen and Jeff Mitchell, Gerard Toscan, John Seidel, Drew Luhrs and Nifty Brand.
None better showed the way than Siddy Robins who held a short tight chain on Stephens to frustrate him into a lesser role. For years Robins has propped up the Swans defence and Sunday appeared to sweep the years away as he gave a performance all but equal to the very best from a top player. 
The Griffith fans loved every minute of their great first period, and although against the wind in the quarter, the Swans kicked four goals to three and the club's policy of sticking to local youngsters had soared to a jackpot.
But younger players can be inconsistent, and such was the case after the first break when the Swans threw away their major advantage by failing to run and the steadiness of the Coolamon talent began to get on top.
Steve Bredin and John Chamberlain led the Grasshoppers to a fine fighting comeback only again to see the Swans regroup and one more challenge for the match honours. Griffith fought to a gutsy four-point lead into the third quarter when most of the inspiration came from the new recruits wearing a Swans guernsey this season.
Foremost was running ruck-rover Jeff Mitchell. Mitchell played like he had a double, he was everywhere and literally ran himself into the ground with a best player afield effort.

The Swans got solid and satisfactory service from their either two new men, in defender Steve Thompson and centre half forward Steve Mulqueen. Mulqueen played last season for the Oven and Murray League and threw off a slow start to figure more prominent as the game progressed. Likewise, Thompson, who showed great dash under pressure at home when the game thickened and tightened to its tough conclusion.  
Defenders, Steve and Shane Best continually swept the Swans out of danger with some fine defensive play and showed they are destined to be key players once again.
Non-playing coach Kevin Kirkpatrick had his reasons to be happy about the result and did not hesitate to tell the players. "You fought out the game and could have won, however, you need to concentrate for longer periods in the games ahead." (By Jack Luhrs - The Area News - Tuesday April 15, 1980).  

Round 2 - Sunday April 20, 1980

Griffith, bye

Other matches: AP-M 10.14 (74) def by GG-M 12.11 (83), Ganmain 15.16 (106) def Ardlethan 14.15 (99), Leeton 12.14 (86) def by Coolamon 11.22 (88), Turvey Park 18.20 (128) def Narrandera 10.14 (74) 


THE Griffith Australian Football committee has apologised to supporters for a lack of footie write-ups in the local paper, due to the fact that the club has been unable to secure a publicity officer.

Jack Luhrs as a special favour wrote the Coolaman game and the committee appreciates this but Mr. Luhrs was unable to continue due to business pressures.
Bob Little was approached but is very involved with Mod Rules and Junior Football of which he is president.

For approximately two months the committee have endeavoured to get a scribe but with no luck.
"It's a true saying a busy person always finds time to help out, so rather than let the club down Bob Little has agreed to be the club's scribe for 1980. "The Swans committee says a very grateful thanks, Bob for helping out again, a committee spokesman said.  (The Area News - Tuesday, April 22, 1980).

Round 3 - Sunday April 27, 1980 at Ex-Servicemen's Oval

Griffith ..... 2.5 .. 6.8 .. 8.8 .. 11.13 (79)

Leeton ..... 3.6 .. 9.11 .. 10.12 .. 12.16 (88)

Goals: Griffith: R Owen 5, D Collins 2, S Mulqueen, S Brand, J Mitchell, N Brand

Leeton: R Imrie 3, D Campbell 3, C Ward 2, B Lang 2, J McDonnell, W Aliendi

Best: Griffith: P McGrath, J Seidel, D Luhrs, N Brand, J Mitchell

Leeton: J Lyons, L Harrison, J McDonnell, S McMahon, G Robson, T Foley

Griffith: S Thompson, J Mitchell, S Brand, S Robins, D Collins, P McGrath, S Mulqueen, Shane Best, Stephen Best, J Toscan, N Brand, G Toscan, D Luhrs, D Collis, K Turner, J Seidel, W Bottcher, R Owen, M O'Donnell, G Owen

Umpire: M McGregor (AUL)

Other matches - SUN: Ardlethan 21.6 (132) def Turvey Park 14.13 (97), Coolamon 11.14 (80) def by AP-M 16.19 (115), GG-M 15.21 (111) def Ganmain 10.18 (78); Narrandera, bye

Reserves: Leeton 12.8 (80) d Griffith 5.14 (44)

Under 19: Leeton 17.18 (120) d Griffith 3.6 (24)


THE football season in the South West is well underway, and yet there is not a team which can claim they should be favourites for the 1980 flag. So far, however, the one thing that is good for the code is the fact that teams that have been "whipping-boys" for so long, have now come back very strongly.

Such teams are Ganmain, Grong Grong-Matong and even Ardlethan. There is still a bye, and many people are not happy about that situation. But at least the league is not lop sided as before. Ganmain have brought up this year, but they are doing the right thing by producing an under 19 side.

The talk last year revolved around a lot of nonsense, of how the bigger towns have the call over smaller towns. Just look how the pendulum has swung. Griffith and Leeton are playing in a low key this season, and this will certainly help the people who knock paid players each year.
But the Griffith club are in trouble. Just look at the seasons ticket. How many people who support local players have come back to the club as they promised? None have because most of the committee other than the president, treasurer and secretary, are made up of players.

One fellow who has come back to coach under 19's this year is not getting the support from the youth of the town, The man is Len Sexton Ex-Geelong, Gammage Medal winner 1964, leading goal scorer, top umpire and a thorough professional when it comes to knowing and delivering the basic fundamentals of football.

Tonight, is a very important occasion for the future of the club.
 How about the weekend draws, in the South West League. All the games hold major importance as to how teams will fare for the coming season. Turvey Park and Grong Grong--Matong's game will tell whether either side can hold down their present position. Ganmain are struggling even though they have brought particularly well. The home ground advantage in all games a pointer to all winners. (The Area News -Friday, May 2, 1980).  

Round 4 - Sunday May 4, 1980 at Ariah Park Recreation Ground

Ariah Park-Mirrool ... 7.2 .. 11.4 .. 15.8 .. 21.12 (138)

Griffith ....................... 2.2 .. 6.5 .. 9.7 .. 11.7 (73)

Goals: AP-M: T Haddrill 4, C Fisher 4, P Breust 3, R Daniher 2, A Wood 2, W Pleming 2, G O'Brien 2, J Rafferty, S Maguire

Griffith: D Collins 5, P McGrath 3, S Brand, N Brand, J Mitchell

Best: AP-M: C Fisher, T Haddrill, J Rafferty, P Daniher, W Pleming, P Breust

Griffith: N Brand, D Collins, J Seidel, Shane Best, R Owen, J Toscan

Griffith: S Thompson, J Mitchell, S Brand, D Collins, P McGrath, S Mulqueen, Shane Best, Stephen Best, J Toscan, N Brand, G Toscan, D Luhrs, D Collis, A Hicken, K Turner, J Seidel, R Owen, G Owen, M O'Donnell, *G Hall

Umpire: R Beer (AUL)

Other matches: Ganmain 16.12 (108) def Coolamon 15.14 (104), Narrandera 20.15 (135) def Ardlethan 15.15 (105), Turvey Park 13.19 (97) def GG-M 14.7 (91); Leeton. bye

Reserves: Ariah Park-Mirrool 16.17 (113) d Griffith 6.9 (45)

Under 19: Ariah Park-Mirrool 12.12 (84) d Griffith 7.8 (50)

Match report: Ariah Park-Mirrool made it a hat-trick on Sunday when they swept the floor with the Griffith Swans in all grades.  Park supporters cannot remember a previous occasion when their teams have swept the scoreboard against Griffith. In the first grade, the Swans won in the ruck but never utilised possession.

When shifted to centre half forward, Darrell Collins made Buster Fairman look second rate.

But unfortunately, the fundamentals were lacking. It is hard to keep things going when players in trouble are not receiving the support of their teammates. This does not detract from the Park's win, however.

How many times did the Griffith side go into attack in the first quarter only to be repelled by a solid defence?
About 22 minutes into the first quarter, the selectors decided on moving Collins to centre half forward and suddenly things seem to fire.
But while Griffith tried valiantly to kick goals, Ariah Park-Mirrool seemed to kick goals with ease. The difference was Col Fisher's outstanding performance backed up by Terry Haddrill and captain-coach John Rafferty.

Griffith seemed to be lacking understanding in their forward line, and at times many of the players were caught out of position. Another important issue was, even though the Griffith rucks called the tune, they could not find a jumper.
Billy Pleming, Rafferty, Fisher and Haddrill showed how well they could rob the ball from the centre bounce and then to really rub salt into the wound, kick a bag of goals.
At times the umpire from Albury was hard to follow as it's reported he complained about the speed of the game, but even so, he did not make the difference.
The difference was simple this. Griffith's small men, though doing well around the ground on occasions, could not capitalise on golden opportunities up forward. How many times did Griffith players run into the target area and the undo their good work with foolish handball or poor kicks?  
Nevertheless, it happens in all parts of the ground as the disposal was awful on many occasions, and by both sides.
People are saying the Park are a final four prospect; so, supporters of the red and white, do not give up on Kevin Kirkpatrick's young charges yet.
On these days, the young brigade of players such as Gerard Toscan, Robbie Owen, Darrell Collins, Kelvin Turner and John Toscan will blend in with Shane Best, Jeff Mitchell, John Seidel and "Nifty" Brand's top performances.
Another fine player this year has been Peter McGrath, though small in stature, his big-hearted efforts must be encouraging to his teammates twice his size. Park is a young side too, but the blooding over the years has now produced the goods. Even so, they are in trouble in the rucking division because Tom Murdock certainly lacks support. (By Bob Little -The Area News - Tuesday, May 6, 1980).

Round 5 - Sunday May 11, 1980 at Ex-Servicemen's Oval

Griffith ......... 5.6 .. 10.10 .. 12.10 .. 16.12 (108)

Ganmain ..... 1.0 .. 3.10 .. 7.11 .. 12.18 (90)

Goals: Griffith: J Mitchell 3, M O'Donnell 3, D Collins 2, P McGrath 2, N Brand 2, R Owen 2, J Toscan, S Thompson

Ganmain: A Daniher 3, G Corbett 3, S Gaynor 2, F Khan, P Clowry, B Carroll, G Silvani

Best: Griffith: G Toscan, J Seidel, G Owen, N Brand, S Brand

Ganmain: G Corbett, P Anderson, G Woolnough, B Carroll, A Daniher

Griffith: S Thompson, J Mitchell, S Brand, S Robins, D Collins, P McGrath, Shane Best, Stephen Best, J Toscan, N Brand, G Toscan, M O'Donnell, D Luhrs, A Hicken, K Turner, J Seidel, G Owen, R Owen, M Wood*, G Hall

Umpire: ---------

Other matches: Coolamon 11.13 (79) def by Turvey Park 18.8 (116), GG-M 16.11 (107) def Narrandera 12.14 (86), Leeton 12.15 (87) def AP-M 5.15 (45), Ardlethan bye

Reserves: Ganmain 8.10 (58) d Griffith 7.9 (51)

Under 19: Griffith 10.10 (70) d Ganmain 8.5 (53)

Match report: Things changed for the better for the Griffith Swans on Sunday. Needing a win just as much as the farmers need rain, Kevin Kirkpatrick's boys at last found the secret of success. Combining magnificently their team effort saw them galloping away on the Ex-Servicemen's Oval and at half time, Griffith 70 were leading Ganmain 28. However, Ganmain fought back in the third quarter with a four-goal burst and really made a match of it. 
The incredible defence by the Griffith players which included the ever-reliable John Seidel and Gary Owen kept shutting out the Ganmain attack. Unlike las