top of page

Click on image to enlarge

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).


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).



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 coached Griffith. He is a big advocate for representative football and has represented NSW country. (The Area News - Monday April 9, 2018).



Griffith Swans have defended their South West Junior Youth Girls League title in the under 17s after defeating Leeton-Whitton at the Leeton Showgrounds recently. It was a tightly contested game against their nearest rivals as it came down to less than a goal to separate the two sides with the Swans coming away with a 2.4 (16) to 2.0 (12) win. Jenna Richards was overjoyed with the result and their side's performance. "The game was really good it was a real tight tussle." Richards said. "Leeton played so good and really gave it to us all game." Teammate Abby Favell was happy to see her side's hard work pay off in the decider. "It was really good to be out there, and in the end, we came away with it which is good," Favell said. "It feels so good we wanted this all season, and it has been in the back of our minds, so it is really good. All the girls played well, and that was how we were able to come away with the win working as a team." Richards wanted to pay credit to the Crows for proving great opposition in the final. "Mikayla Jones was great for them," Richards said. "She played amazing every week she comes out and plays her hardest." Leeton-Whitton Blue took a convincing victory in the under 13s, defeating Leeton-Whitton White 11.9 (75) to 0.0 (0). (The Area News - Wednesday April 11, 2018).'



The Griffith Swans are ready to go for the 2018 Riverina League season with Narrandera coming to Exies Oval on Saturday night. After a long and tough preseason coach Will Griggs said his side can't wait for the first bounce. "I think the boys are eager to see the end of preseason," he said. "It has been a tough preseason we have been at it since November but there is no fitness like match fitness so it will be good to get under way on Saturday." Griggs said he will be happy to see his side take the field in what has been a quite preseason in terms of preseason games only playing one trial along with a couple of intra-club games in the lead up. The club has also been relatively quite on the recruitment front, but that is of little concern to Griggs. "We said from the start whether we pick up or not we are happy," he said. "We had plenty of young guys do well the RFL voting last season and had Isaac Campbell pick up the under 17s medal as a 16-year-old. We had 8 or 9 blokes who were 18-years-old playing first grade last season, so we are pretty happy with where we are sitting at the moment." 
Narrandera are reported to have made some handy pickups during the off-season and Griggs isn't too sure what to to expect "We saw last year it takes a few weeks for a new side to gel," he said. "It will be good to get them early and see where we stack up against them." Griffith will head into the clash without a key component while another rolled their ankle at training earlier in the week. "Mick Duncan still has a week to serve on his suspension from last season," he said. "Tom Valeri rolled his ankle at training, and I found out today that he did some ligament damage so he could be spending a bit of time on the sidelines. We have one or two who are 50/50, but since we play on Saturday night, we can put them through a fitness test if we need to." (The Area News - Friday April 20, 2018). 

 AT THE BAR with Speedy and Liam 

With the big local derby coming up between the Griffith Swans and Leeton-Whitton Crows both sides are coming in with winning form. In this weeks edition of 'At The Bar' Michael 'Speedy' Stratton and The Area News' sports journalist Liam Warren sit down to discuss the Australian Rules action both locally and nationally. 
Liam: Well Speedy the local AFL seasons have gotten underway, and we have the local derby coming up this weekend.
Speedy: Yes we have the premiers, the Leeton-Whitton Crows taking on the Swannies on Saturday night at Sporties. It should draw a good crowd because the rivalry is very strong and has been for many years. How has Leeton started the season?
Liam: They have had a loss and a win so far.
Speedy: While Griffith is on top with two wins. I'm going to pick Griffith especially over here. They have some good players this year, they have stuck with a lot of juniors from last season and although there is a long way to go it is starting to pay dividends. They have some good old hard heads Guy Orton who coached here a couple of seasons ago, and some young blokes like Reece Matheson, Toby Blissett and Isaac Campbell they are all good young players and they will be a great asset for the Swannies down the track. It's good to see them winning and it's good to see the other Swannies beating Geelong down there. I took Geelong only because it was down there. 
Liam: They would have looked a pretty safe bet before the Swans finally came good in the final term. 
Speedy: The last 10 minutes of the third term the Swans started to come good, but they really turned it on in the last quarter to win. Back to the local competition Turvey Park are undefeated with Griffith I see. 
Liam: Yep along with Collingullie who had the bye last round and Mangoplah.
Speedy: If I had to make a prediction right now I've got to go for Griffith. Naturally enough Griffith will improve as will all the others sides. Who's running last at the moment?
Liam: Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong.
Speedy: They fell to the Swannies on the weekend, and there has been some great games between those two sides over the years. They are rebuilding at the moment, and I'm sure they will come back. Coolamon is also down there after losing pretty convincingly to Mangoplah. They aren't the side they were a few years ago, but they are still slugging it out down there.
Liam: Just finally what have you made of your beloved Essendon's season.
Speedy: They wouldn't beat Hillston out of the Northern Riverina League the way they are going.

(The Area News - Wednesday May 2, 2018).

 ORTON BRINGS UP 100 GAMES - By Liam Warren 

Guy Orton will play his 100th game this weekend when the Griffith Swans take on arch-rivals Leeton-Whitton Crows on Saturday night. Orton has been a key figure in the Griffith Swans camp for a number of years, and coach Will Griggs said it is great to have someone of his experience around the young group. "It is like having another coach around the group," he said. "His leadership and how he helps out with the younger boys is invaluable. "He has heaps of experience playing at a higher levels, and the young guys really listen to him." 
The Swans made a strong start to the season picking up two wins from their first two games, however they will be without two key midfielders heading into the grudge match. "Ben King and Jordan Iudica will both miss," he said. "Jordan is away on holidays while Ben will miss about a month as he is away with work. The depth of the squad is something which has pleased Griggs as there is plenty of cover for the missing pair with players from reserve grade push for selection and the end of Mick Duncan's suspension leaves plenty of options open.

"Mick was available last week," he said. "The old body hasn't been able to do much preseason and we didn't want to risk all three of them being out if we don't need to." Griggs is expecting it to be a tough contest against the defending champions. "I think they might be getting back Bryce O'Garey and Tyh Evans," he said. They lost a bit of experience from the premiership side with a few going back to Canberra, but we are still expecting a tough test. "We know we are going to need a good start if we are to have any chance. 

Saturday night is also Ladies night for the Swans with plenty of entertainment back at the club after the game. The first grade game will get underway after 6pm at Exies Oval. (The Area News - Friday May 4, 2018)



The Griffith Swans wrapped up their successful first season in the Southern NSW Women's competition with a presentation night to recognise the players' great performance this season. Lauren Marshall picked up the best and fairest honours after consistent performances throughout the season according to coach Trevor Richards. "It was hard to pick the award because all the girls were great throughout the season, he said. "She (Marshall) picked up the game quickly and kicking and marking just seemed to come naturally to her. "She did well in the contest and was never afraid to put her body on the line." In other awards Mel Bonetti picked up players' player, Amy Renouf was the most improved, and Keely Bloomfield received the coaches award. 
The side was competitive all season and finished third with two wins from five games, with two losses decided by under a goal. Richards said the girls are looking forward to next season. "If anyone is looking to get involved they should talk to the girls that played this season," he said. "Every one of them loved it and are keen to go again next season. (The Area News - Wednesday May 8, 2018).


 AT THE BAR with Speedy and Liam 

After yet another win for the Griffith Swans in the Riverina Football League over the weekend the decision to stick with the local young players seems to be paying off with five wins from as many games. In this weeks edition of 'At The Bar' Michael 'Speedy' Stratton and The Area News' sports journalist Liam Warren sit down to discuss the Swans barnstorming start.
Liam: Well mate the RFL table has an excellent look to it with the Swans on top after five games.
Speedy: Yea, the coach Will Griggs must be beside himself. I know it's coming up to the halfway mark and there is still a long way to go but winning form is good form and if you keep winning what is it going to do for your confidence. If you can bowl over a couple of those top teams and they have already defeated Leeton-Whitton haven't they. 
Liam: It seems like sticking to their guns and bringing the talented youth they have at their disposal through is working really well.
Speedy: It is the way to go, giving the young blokes who have according to all reports been going very well the likes of Lucas Conlan and Riley Irvin and then you have the old heads like Mick Duncan. Over the years he has been a tremendous player. He has had offers to go elsewhere in previous years, but he has stuck by the Swans and good on him for doing so. Let's hope they can repay  him with a premiership this year, and if they keep going like this, it could be on the cards. 
Liam: Well they have a big test after this weekend's bye they take on Collingullie following a trip to Mangoplah which will show them where they stand.
Speedy: I go as far to say whoever wins those games will take the flag even this early in the season.

(The Area News - Wednesday, May 30, 2018). 


Abby Favell's dream of making it to the AFLW competition has taken a further step in the right direction after she was selected for the NSW/ACT under 16 girls side. Favell was one of four girls from the Southern Academy to be selected in the side who take on Victoria Country in Albury in June. The youngster was understandably elated when she found out about her selection. "It's something I have been working towards," she said. "I really wanted to get into the side, and when I saw my name up there, I was so happy." The love for footy comes after spending many weekends watching the (Griffith) Swans, and once she got the opportunity to play for herself, she instantly fell in love. "Growing up playing netball for the Swans and watching my brother (Jack) playing footy my friends and I wanted to get out there and play," she said."When I was in year 4, I played in the Paul Kelly Cup for St Pats, and that was where I really fell in love with footy." The selection in the NSW/ACT side comes after Favell was selected in the NSW under 15 side along-side Jenna Richards for the School Sports Australian National Championship last year. "That was when I decided to pursue footy," she said. "Really looking forward to playing at a higher level." Favell has been putting in a lot of work in the led up with training for various other sports having her in good shape heading into the representative squad announcement. "In the lead up I was doing training throughout the week, I'm basically training for different sports every every night," she said. "It has really helped to improve my fitness." Female Football Talent Pathway Manager, Ash Moeller, named Favell as one of the players to look out for. "Abby Favell is an agile midfielder who will provide plenty of run and carry off a half-back, and through the middle," Moeller said. "She has good pace and luckily for us, has a penetrating kick." (The Area News - Wednesday May 30, 2018).



Kahlan Spencer has made his way into the NSW Combined High Scholls AFL side after a strong performance at the NSWCHS under 15s carnival recently. Spencer was one of over 200 under 15s boys at the carnival held in Blacktown which was then dwindled down to 25 who were selected in the NSW side to play in the National Championships to be held in Adelaide in late July. The rising star comes from a talented footballing family with his Great Grandfather (Leo Dean) playing for Victoria and was named best and fairest at Geelong during the 1930s. The young midfielder was elated with his selection in the side but it did come as a bit of a surprise. "I was really happy. I didn't think I was going to make it," he said. "I thought I went alright but didn't think I did much to impress, but I guess I did." It continues what has been a successful footballing season for Spencer, who is playing for the Griffith Swans Red under 15s side who are currently undefeated. Heading into what will be a much bigger challenge coming up against some of the better players from around the country and knows where he needs to improve. "Just getting clean hands and having vision of where you are going to go and making the right plays," he said. (The Area News - June 20, 2018).


The season is over for Griffith Swans young gun Jack Rowston who has had scans to confirm the injury sustained on Saturday afternoon against the Leeton-Whitton Crows was a torn ACL. Swans coach Will Griggs said it was a sad time for the talented footballer who had been lighting up the fields so far this season. "It's pretty sad for a kid who has plenty of potential and has been showing it," he said. "He has only played the last couple of games for us, but he has been playing in the NEAFL and was playing really well. "Hopefully it doesn't hurt his chances of playing football in the future." 
As for the Swans they are preparing to take on Coolamon this weekend and will be looking to build on what was their best performance in recent weeks, and Griggs is hoping they can continue on this path with five rounds until finals.  The Swans are now faced with a fixture list that works in their favour with three of their last four games at home. "We knew at the start of the season looking at the draw we would need to win on the road early, and we were able to do that," he said. "Know we will look to take advantage of playing on our home track. You really couldn't ask for a better run home really."
The young blokes in the team had a solid weekend to coincided with the Swans taking full flight against the Crows last weekend and Griggs was pleased to see them return to the form they were showing early in the season. "I wouldn't say they had dropped off, but it was good to see them return to form last weekend," he said. "Reece Matheson was played as sort of pinch hitter last weekend and probably played one of his best games all season. "Sam Foley had his running game back, and Isaac Campbell has been playing well all season." While the Swans were able to get a convincing 104-point win over the Coolamon side last time they met this season at Kindra Park, Griggs is expecting a much tighter game this time round. (The Area News - Friday, July 20, 2018).



The Griffith Swans had a great weekend out on the netball court at Exies Oval on Saturday afternoon when they took on Coolamon in the Riverina Netball League. It was the first time this season that the Swans have picked up the points in all five grades, and with four side's picking up convincing wins it is looking good with five rounds left before finals get underway. After losing to the Rovers earlier in the season, the Swans A Grade side made a point in this meeting between the two teams with a massive 61-16 win. It sees the Swans close in on a possible second chance come finals time as they moved level with third-placed Mangoplah-CUE. The Griffith A reserve side were able to pick up their second win of the season and give themselves some breathing space over the bottom-placed Coolamon side with a 31-25 victory. With little space separating third from sixth it was important B Grade picked up a win this weekend and were able to get the job done to remain in fifth with a 61-19 win. The second chance in finals has become a possibility for C Grade A after 34-10 win pushing them into third while the 17s are still within reach of the top three after a 20-0 win.  (The Area News - Friday, July 27, 2018).



Talented midfielder Heath Northey says there is "an air of confidence" at Griffith as the Swans look to end the club's 15-year premiership drought. Griffith will begin their finals campaign with a second semi-final showdown against Collingullie-Glenfield Park at Narrandera Sportsground on Saturday. It has already been a special season for Griffith, going through the home and away season undefeated for the first time in the club's history. The task is now to turn special into spectacular by winning the club's first premiership since 2003.

"There is an air of confidence at the club at the moment," Northey said. "The week off has freshened us up but we're under no illusions as to how tough Collingullie will be. They have been a bit of a powerhouse for a while now and it's always a tough challenge against them.

"We know it will be tough but there's a real confidence among the group. We know if we can play the way we know we can play and bring that effort, then we can get the job done."
Northey, whose home club is Wahgunyah, made his senior debut as a 17-year-old at Corowa-Rutherglen in the Ovens and Murray League.

He moved to Griffith for work at the start of last year and signed up with the Swans, despite a strong friendship with Narrandera's coach Jarred Lane. I really like the competition actually, it's pretty free-flowing style of footy," he said. "I love it at Griffith.

They have been really welcoming and that's one of the reasons I couldn't not play at the Swans. It felt like home straight away.

The 27-year-old restricted himself to 10 games last season in a bid to get through the year. Northey has taken his game to a new level this year, kicking 14 goals and being named in the Swans best on six occasions from 13 games.

"Although I'm only 27, I've got a pretty old body and I've always had issues with my hip," he said.

I only played 10 games last year and that was deliberate to get through a season of footy. After I got through those games and with the group we had this year, you could sense there was a real opportunity to achieve something so I spoke to Will (Griggs) and said that I want to play every game this year." Northey is confident the Swans can pick up in finals where they left the season.

"The key is bringing that real intensity to the contest, like any final," he said. (The Area News - Friday September 17, 2018).


Griffith coach Will Griggs will back his team to outrun Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong in Sunday's preliminary final. The Swans' 16-game winning streak came to an end last Saturday when they went down to Collingullie-Glenfield Park by 13 points in the second semi-final. It suddenly leaves Griffith to defeat the Lions on Sunday to make the grand final, or face straight sets exit from finals. Griggs is not about to panic or make wholesale changes and will back his team to bounce back. While respectful of the football the Lions are capable of, Griggs believes Griffith can run their opponents off their feet. "They pride themselves on congestion, whacking it forward and putting the heat on pretty quick," Griggs said. "If we bring our pace and ability to move the ball quickly then I think we can find a few of their bigger bodies out. That's been our plan all year, to try and run and move quickly. We believe it's stacked up well against most sides all year. "It's just when you have 80 percent of your team individually having their worst game of the year in a semi-final like we did last week, it doesn't help.
Griffith's slip up at the start of the final series, along with the club's lack of finals experience over the past decade, prompted questions of the Swans this week. Griggs said it was simply a matter of the Swans playing to their ability. "I've said all year that if we don't play our best footy where a very mediocre side and that any side can beat us on our day and Collingullie showed that," he said.  "But what it showed on the weekend is that if you're not prepared to work hard for four quarters then you'll easily turn yourself out of form pretty quickly. "In saying that, we felt we didn't play well, and we still led for most of the day and didn't get beaten by much. So, we've tried to keep things positive this week and back ourselves to work hard and turn it around." In bad news for the Swans, teenage on-baller Sam Foley will miss Sunday's final with hamstring injury. He is unlikely to return for the grand final, should Griffith be successful this weekend. Foley has enjoyed an outstanding season and established himself as one of Griffith's starting on-ballers before injury struck early in the loss to the Demons last Saturday. (The Area News - Friday, September 14, 2018).


 GRIFFITH ABUZZ - By Matt Malone  

Griffith is abuzz as the club attempts to end a 15-year premiership drought in the Riverina League grand final at Narrandera Sportsground on Saturday. The Swans, on the back of an undefeated home and away season, have won through to their first decider since 2004. Griffith coach Will Griggs said the western edge of the competition is pumping this week ahead of the showdown against Collingullie-Glenfield Park. "There's a few shops around town that have got the red and white everywhere," Griggs said. "It's been a while between drinks, not just for us but for the reserves as well so it's going to be a big day for the club playing in both grades so hopefully, we can get the job done." 
Griggs moved from Canberra to Griffith in 2015, alongside good mates Ben King and Sam Daniel. At a time when weekly trips from Canberra to play bush footy was in vogue, the trio committed wholly to the Swans by going one step further and packing up their lives to move to Griffith. After three seasons as a player at Griffith, Griggs stepped up to the coaching duties this year and said it would mean an enormous amount to him if he could lead the Swans to a long-awaited premiership. "We moved here, me, Ben King and Sam Daniel, all moved from Canberra," he said. "We had a plan that we wouldn't leave until we had some success so that puts it to you right here, it would be pretty big." While Griggs will lead the Swans into battle on Saturday, he gives a lot of credit for Griffith's rise to the man he replaced, Adrian Pavese. "I'm not going to take all the credit," he said. "It's been a three-year process with the coach before me, Adrian Pavese, who I'm good friends with. "We sat down and basically started again at the start. Taught them how to play senior footy again, the tricks of the trade and we've steadily been getting better. "Obviously we've played finals the last two years, made the preliminary last year and to go down to Collingullie hurt and we've still got the memory in our heads so hopefully we can get a bit of payback." (The Area News - Friday, September 21, 2018).



Griffith champion Mick Duncan has declared himself a certain starter for the Swans in Saturday's Riverina League grand final. Duncan sustained a grade one tear to his quadriceps during last Sunday's preliminary final win over Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong. He sat out Griffith's training on Tuesday night but is feeling fit and has declared it is 'all systems go' for the decider against Collingullie-Glenfield Park at Narrandera Sportsground. "It's a grade one tear but on the lighter end of the scale. I could have trained Tuesday night," Duncan said. "I was amazed by the amount of improvement in the first 24 to 48 hours so I'll train on Thursday night. "It feels better now than my right one did a couple of weeks ago and I played with it so it's all systems go." Duncan is the only member of the Griffith 2003 premiership team still playing at the Swans. He played in three consecutive grand finals from 2002-to 2004. Duncan has not played in another grand final since and admits the drought certainly makes him appreciate what lies ahead of him on Saturday. "Without a doubt. I had played three grand finals by the time I was 21 and you do take it for granted," he said. "We had a period of 10 years where we didn't play finals so that makes me realise how hard they are to come by and how quickly you can go from playing in a grand final to not even playing in finals. "It's a good learning curve and we've made sure to make a point of that to our younger blokes." At 35, Duncan has done it all at Griffith. He is a premiership player, seven-time best and fairest winner and Team of the Century member. He is also keen not to make Saturday his last game. "After this week I'll be on 298 games," he said. "The bodies is feeling OK and once again, after not playing finals for 10 years it's hard to walk away while you're having some success."  Duncan believes the stability of the current Griffith playing group is what makes it stand out from the rest. "Through the 10 years we didn't make the finals, we would get good recruits that would stay one year and go," he said. "The next year we would have to start from scratch again. Our recruits now are the same blokes we've had for a few years. "Our kids are another year older and have all started to get 30, 40, 50 games under their belt and are maturing a lot. "At the start of the year, we did change a few things up, but the processes have been put in place since Adrian Pavese had come on board. Will (Griggs) just tinkered things a little bit." Duncan understands Collingullie-GP won't be easy on Saturday, but he is confident they can get the job done. "We know our best is good enough," he said.  (The Area News - Friday, September 21, 2018). 

bottom of page