2003 RFNL SEASON
Apr 5 MCUE (h) Apr 13 GGGM (a) Apr 25 NI (h) May 4 CR (a) May 11 TP (h) May 18 LW (a) May 24 Rep Jun1 EWK (h) Jun 7 MCUE (a) Jun 15 GGGM (h) Jun 21 NI (a) Jun 29 CR (h) Jul 6 TP (a) Jul 13 LW (h) Jul 19 EWK (a) Aug 3 MCUE (h) Aug 10 GGGM (a) Aug 17 NI (h) Aug 24 CR (a)
Finals - Aug 30 QF Aug 31 EF Sep 6 SF1 Sep 7 SF2 Sep 14 PF Sep 21 GF
Ladders Player Stats Record Swans Awards RFL Awards
Click on image to enlarge
IN: Dennis Dunstan (Lake Cargelligo), Anthony Greely (Cora Lynn), Ajay Kearney, Brett Lanyon, Matthew McDonald (Ardlethan), Jason Vant (Urana).
OUT: Danny Beriman (Robinvale), Chris Blanchard (work), Luke Condon, Shayne Driscoll (Werrimull), Josh Fisher (Barellan), Graham Foley (Hillston Swans), David Kidman, Shane Ruyg (Werrimull), Jeremy Way (Barellan).
WADE TAKES ON FOURTH TERM AS SWANS PRESIDENT
The Griffith Swans held their annual general meeting on last week and popular president for the past three years, Ian Wade was returned unopposed. The executive remains basically the same with George Duncan, former junior liaison director, now vice president. The other members of the executive were also returned unopposed, Ffiona Beverley moving into her fourth year as secretary and Damien Scott taking on his second year as treasurer. The directors are Don Harrison (fundraising), Bob and Brenda Spears (catering), Simon Spiers (social), Shane Best (football), Grant Lamont (sponsorship), Steve Best (junior liaison) and Louise Hornery (netball liaison).
In his president report Wade said what a great year it was despite not having won the big one. He said the support around the club this year, both on and off the field had been fantastic and whilst the devastation that was felt after the grand final will take a long way to go away, the club should not dwell on the past, but look forward to next season. Treasurer Damien Scott presented the accounts which showed an excellent result with a good operating profit at the end of the day and the club in a sound position financially.
The Griffith Swans confirmed in September that Cian Ebert would once again lead the Swans for the 2003 season and would be assisted by Jon O'Dwyer and Phillip Rowston. With a 100 per cent coaching record against his name, Greg Collins has again been appointed reserve grade coach and would be assisted by Greg Dreyer. The position of under-18's coach remains vacant at the moment, but the committee is speaking to a player at the moment and hopes to be able to announce that position in the near future. And due to public demand, the next reverse draw on Sunday 17th November has moved from the Exies-on-Burrell back to the Sporties. (The Area News - Wednesday, November 6, 2002).
SWANS TOO STRONG FOR HAY LIONS
The Griffith Swans Football Club travelled to Hay on Sunday for their first trial game of the 2003 season. The team consisted of under-18's, reserves and first grade players who played six-20 minute quarters. The Swans were far too strong for the Hay Lions, winning every quarter to run out winners 23.16 (154) to 5.2 (32). Newcomers Jason Vant and Matt McDonald settled in and played well. Shawn Conlan, Jon O'Dwyer and Jeff Mickan all enjoyed the move up forward and kicked six goals between them. Matt Olney was again flying high in the ruck and around the ground, taking marks and setting up play. Rod Duncan and Craig Conlan were both consistent and picked up many kicks. Dom Giorgi fitted back into the team after a couple of years away and kicked two goals. Greg Dreyer also kicked two goals. Under-18's player Jason Hampel did well in his first senior game, while Mick Duncan continued on from last year to finish with seven goals. Damien Scott, Andrew Hill and Simon Spiers kept the backline together all day. The next hit out for the Swans will be the inter-club game tonight at 6pm at the Exies number two oval. As there is less than four weeks before the Swans' first game, the coaches urge intending players to come along to training. The under-18's will hold their first training session on Friday at 6pm. A barbecue for family and supporters will follow training and inter-club game.
The Swans Football Club would like to announce that due to health reasons, Greg Collins has resigned as reserve coach. Last season in his first season as coach, Collins took the reserves grade side to a premiership and the club wishes him all the best for a speedy recovery and thank him for his efforts. Greg Dreyer, who is a Life Member of the Griffith Swans and has played over 200 first grade games, will take over as reserve grade coach. The Swans will be holding a special thank you night for their sponsors at Exies-on-Burrell on Saturday night, March 29 at 6.30pm. The senior players will be presented with their jumpers for the 2003 season. The Swans reverse draw will be on Sunday, April 27 at 1pm at Exies-on-Burrell. Tickets are now on sale through Don Harrison (Wade Transport), Bob Spears (Griffith Newsagency) and Damien Scott (TLE). Griffith Swans first game in 2003 RFL competition will be a day-night game on Saturday, April 5 against MCUE. (The Area News - Friday March 14, 2003).
JASON MALONE TO PLAY 50th GAME FOR SWANS
Jason Malone plays his 50th senior game for the Griffith Swans on Anzac Day, in the day-night game against Narrandera tonight. He is one of the Barellan connection, having joined the Swans for the 2000 season via Leeton-Whitton where he played 48 senior games. Jason commenced his junior football as a rugby leaguer playing for the Barellan under-10's team, then switched to Australian Rules. In 1991 and 1992 he won the Most Improved Award. In 1995 he played under-15's for Ardlethan as well as under-17's for Barellan, winning Barellan's Coach's Award in 1995. He played his first senior game for Barellan in 1996. From 1997 to 1999 Jason played with the Leeton-Whitton Crows, earning Best First Year Player Award in 1997. In 1998 he was selected in the MVAFA under-18's side which played against Sydney. In 2000 Jason came to Griffith with his brother Kaine also signing with the Swans, they planned on playing their 50th games together. Jason was one of only a handful of players to play all 18 games in 2000, following it with 17 in 2001 and winning the award for Best Utility Player. Unfortunately injury in 2002 saw Jason only play 12 senior games and the Malone's missed their double celebration. Jason has become an integral part of the Swans senior side and if the first couple of games are anything to go by, is playing his best football and is looking forward to leading his side onto the Exies Oval on Anzac Day against Narrandera. (The Area News - Friday April 25, 2003).
SWANS HONOURED TO PLAY ON ANZAC DAY - By Rebecca Kroek
The Griffith Swans take on Narrandera in a day-night game at the Exies Oval tonight, with coach Cian Ebert describing it as a "real honour" to be playing on Anzac Day. While Ebert is hoping the Swans make it three from three with a win tonight, he is also keen for the Anzac Day clash to become an annual tradition. "It's sentimental in the fact that it's a real honour to be playing on Anzac Day and none of us have ever played before (on Anzac Day)," Ebert said.
"It's a really respectful day and it's great that we have the opportunity to do it, hopefully we can make it a tradition." The Swans kicked off the season with wins over Mangoplah-CUE and Ganmain-GGM. the victory over the Lions, a comeback one after trailing at half-time.
Griffith kicked seven goals in the third term to launch the comeback and then run away with the game in the final quarter, another seven-goal effort for a 51-point win. "You always want to get off to a good start and to be two and zero, you can't do much better than that," Ebert said. "The support and the commitment the boys showed in the last quarter at Ganmain is something we should be striving to achieve every week ... it was a really good feeling and a really good come-from-behind win."
Meanwhile, Narrandera is winless after two rounds, suffering losses to Leeton-Whitton and East Wagga-Kooringal, but Ebert in not expecting an easy clash tonight. "Playing Narrandera is always a good contest, they back themselves pretty well and really make it a physical contest," he said. "We had last week off so everyone's pretty fresh and keen to keep the ball rolling."
The Swans lineup is almost back to full-strength after sustaining some injuries in the first game against MCUE.
While Dave Curran will be unavailable for several more weeks and there is a question mark over Michael Duncan's fitness, the rest of the players are available for selection for tonight. Ebert will play his first for the Riverina Football League season, while Trevor Clarke has also returned, and Ebert said it will be "great to have him back".
Looking to make it three wins from three games, Ebert is also hoping for plenty of home crowd support tonight against Narrandera.
"Hopefully people can get down and have a bit of a watch, it should be a good game and a good day," he said.
With Farrer League club Marrar forced to move its home game for this weekend due to hardness of its home ground, because of water restrictions, Ebert said the Exies oval is in great condition. "I think we're really lucky and probably sometimes don't appreciate how lucky we are to have a ground in the condition it is in, we'd like to thank the Exies and their ground staff, it's just magnificent," he said.
(The Area News - Friday April 25, 2003).
AFTER SURPRISE SELECTION WADE PRIMED FOR DEBUT - By Peter Baker
Griffith fullback Ben Wade is going beyond his expectations in football as the representative fixtures get under way tomorrow. Primed for his senior debut representing Riverina Football League against the mysterious Black Diamond League at Maher Oval tomorrow, Wade, 17, was taken by surprise when named in the side on Wednesday night. Wade - 187 centimetres and 86 kilograms - had set his goal this season to become a permanent fixture in the Swans side as they strive for their first premiership since 1968.
"I was just glad to be named in the RFL squad to prepare for tomorrow's game and did not think I had a big chance of making the run-on-side," Wade said. "When my name was read out, I was totally rapt. "The side is young and enthusiastic - average age around 21 years - and has plenty of runners. "Bevan Rowe, the coach wants us to use the open spaces and run the ball as much as possible."
Tomorrow's game is important to Wade and any other footballers with aspirations for representative duty this season. Not only is tomorrow's game a first between RFL and Black Diamond but it is also important trial for New South Wales selectors who must name a side to play Australian Capital Territory at Manuka Oval, Canberra on July 26.
A member of the NSW/ACT Rams before the cut this season, Wade has quickly developed into one of the best back men in RFL.
Wade who made his senior debut as a forward pocket and kicked six goals in the first two quarters against Coolamon on June 2, 2002, a feat which caught the eye on many good judges. A fringe senior player with the Swans in 2002, Wade senior football has been a learning experience and he had gathered more knowledge in his short stint in first grade than his years at junior level.
(The Daily Advertiser - Friday May 23, 2003).
SWANS TO TEST OUT DOMINANT FORM - By Grace Uhr
Four weeks is a longtime for a football team. Just a month ago, the Griffith Swans looked down and out, struggling to field a team after injuries ravaged the side and they were struggling on the scoreboard with some tough games and inaccurate play. But with finals starting on Saturday, the team is looking stronger than it has all season. The last few weeks have seen an incredible form turn-around, the Swans winning six consecutive games and gradually rebuilding their roster to the extent where players have been fighting to remain in the first 18. Saturday's game about the culmination of a positive end to the regular season.
The Swans will find out whether this new-found form stretches into the finals arena when they take on Coolamon for the second week in a row in the qualifying semi-final at Narrandera. The two sides played one another in the last round of the regular season last weekend in abysmal conditions, the Swans able to handle this better to register a 65-point win, 85 to 20.
However, Swans coach Cian Ebert believes this Saturday's game is going to be played in very different style. "It should be different weather conditions at Narrandera and a different style game," he said. "I think they had about four of five out too." The Swans field a full-strength side for the Coolamon game, with players wanting to continue the Swans' good form and also cement a spot in the side.
Ebert believed this was the kind of attitude that had helped them return to form this season. "The last four weeks the boys' attitude has been outstanding," he said. "Finals are totally different in terms of mental attitude, but we're really wanting to win. "We've just got to keep the passion for the game. "We feel positive we can win the game and we've got the side that can come away with it."
Ebert expected the game to be played at a mu