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IN: Oswald Herrmann (Leeton-Whitton), Theo Valeri; Jacob Conlan (Canberra Demons).
OUT: Brent Arho (Mangoplah-CUE), Cory Barrington, Jacob Barrington (Koondrook-Barham), Tyler Bruns (North Wagga), Angus Coldwell (Berrigan), Jacob Conlan (Canberra Demons), Dean Crack, Brendan Knagge (Coleambally), Richard Malone, Casey Moore (Barellan), Luke Shannon, Jesse Spencer (Coleambally), Ben Tarr (Qld), Ashley Verhagen (Wynyard).
ASSISTANT COACHES TAKE UP POSITIONS - By Matt Malone
Griffith have appointed highly-regarded duo Mick Duncan and Jamie Bennett as assistant coaches to Will Griggs. The Swans have finalised their coaching structure for the upcoming season with Duncan set to return to the assistant's role for a sixth year. Griggs is also pleased to secure Bennett's help, who will run the bench on game day. "Jamie's a bit of a club legend. He's got the boy's respect already and he knows what he's talking about," Griggs said. "Mick's always played an important role as an experienced player, now he just gets the title. Having him there is going to be a bit more important this year, which is good. Griggs is entering his first year as senior coach, after serving as assistant coach to Adrian Pavese last year. The Swans have been quite over the off-season and will back the club's youth after failing to land any big recruits. Griffith will welcome back John Evans from Barellan, while Alex Blissett, James Taylor and Theo Valeri will return from time-off.
The Swans will be without key forward Brent Arho, who won't travel to play this year, while Jacob Conlan, Ash Verhagen and Jacob Barrington have all moved on. Griffith is not fazed however and is happy with how everything is coming together. "Training's been good. We've been going since the middle of November, with a few weeks off for Christmas," he said. "Over the next week or two we'll start on some game sense stuff, and start to tinker with our game plan a bit." The Swans will hold their pre-season camp at Borambola on March 23-24 and play a trial game against East Wagga-Kooringal on the Saturday. They will start their season with a twilight game at Exies Oval against Narrandera on April 21. Griffith also appointed Dean Catanzariti as reserve grade coach, with Trevor Richards to be his assistant. Kris Duncan will take reins of the under 17s, and will be assisted by Jamie Bennett. (The Area News - Monday February 19, 2018).
ORTON REMAINS IN CHARGE - By Matt Malone
Newly reappointed representative coach Guy Orton is keen to help cement the Riverina League as the premier competition in the region. Orton has accepted the Riverina League representative coaching job for a second year and will lead the team in this year's showdown against Farrer League at Robertson Oval on May 19.
The Griffith stalwart coached Riverina for the first-time last year when they went down to AFL Canberra by 40 points. Orton is looking forward to help restoring Riverina League's reputation. "I was keen to do it again and have another crack. Hopefully we can gt the RFL back to where it should be," Orton said.
Orton is interested to see how Farrer stack up. "They have obviously picked up a bit," he said. "They have got a fair few guys from Canberra, and a few from RFL have gone there so it should be a pretty good game, I reckon. "A few guys from our league have gone to other leagues to better their footy but hopefully the core group of our rep side will still be there. Hopefully everyone puts up their hand." Orton will use last year's team as a starting point for this year's squad.
The Riverina League will only play four rounds before the representative fixture, making it hard for Orton to pick a squad and get training runs into the team. "I think those who played in last year's game, we'll put them in, and then we'll add to it as we go," he said. "I want to have at least three or four training runs, but it's going to be hard." MCUE coach Travis Cohalan has already come on board as a selector and bench coach, with Orton still finalising the make-up of the rest of his selection panel.
New Riverina League president Chris Flanigan was happy to have Orton in the coaching position. "Absolutely, Guy coached last year and was keen to go again. He's rapt in the rivalry and is really keen for it," Flanigan said. "He's been representing the league for six years now, he leads well, he's really good with the young blokes and that's what we're looking for. We think he'll do a really good job." Orton, a two-time Jim Quinn Medal winner, previously