2020 RFNL SEASON
IN: Ryan Bullus (Waratah, NTFL), Riley Irvin (St George Dragons), Leigh Owen (Westmeadows).
OUT: Toby Blissett (Northern Jets), Isaac Campbell (Albury Tigers), Jacob and Lucas Conlan (Albury Tigers), Jordan Crowe (Coleambally), Sam Foley (Barellan United), Jordan Iudica (Queanbeyan), Ben King, Reece Matheson (Barellan United), Sam Mcginn (Mangoplah-CUE), Ethan Murphy (Leeton United SC), Heath Northey (Randwick City Saints), Guy Orton (Coleambally), Jack Rowston (Banyule, Northern FNL), Theo and Thomas Valeri (Coleambally), Ben Watts (Coleambally); Will Griggs (Queanbeyan Tigers).
GRIFFITH SWANS FOOTBALL NETBALL CLUB STATEMENT
The committee has made the decision to withdraw from the Riverina Football & Netball Season for 2020. With recent COVID-19 events over the past few weeks changing the risk significantly and the clubs responsibility to not only our players but the supporters, the players extended family groups and the wider community we felt it was no longer in the best interests of everyone to continue. The huge area involved and the spread of player movement across the competition means that it became quite difficult to balance the risks. Big thanks to the coaches and their playing groups, the passion and commitment of everyone is what makes our club great. And thanks to the AFL Riverina board and CMC who have done their best to provide a platform for competitions through uncharted territory. We look forward to continuing to provide some great social events that is a great element of being part of the Swans family. The committee already has some great ideas to get everyone together so keep an eye out in coming weeks for the info! We will focus on also get stuck in to planning for the 2021 season along with helping get our South West Junior season and our Auskick and NetSetGo programs underway. (13.17pm - Friday, July 10, 2020).
SWANS SIT OUT 2020 SEASON - By Peter Doherty
THE Riverina League has lost a second club for the year with Griffith Swans deciding on Friday afternoon not to participate. They joined Narrandera in making their own call and informed AFL Riverina of their decision. "We'll withdraw from the competition as well," Griffith president Jeff Harris said. "Like most clubs, we're been heavily weighing up the risk versus reward balance. For us, the risk - not for the playing group as much as the supporters and the wider community - got to the point where that is weighing heavily on everyone. "With that in mind, we think, it's best for everyone if we withdraw from senior footy and netball." Harris said the Swans will leave the door open for the juniors at this stage. "Hopefully we can get a South West junior season up, and Auskick programs," he said. "They're obviously a little bit more geographically insular. So we can have a bit more confidence that they might be a viable prospect."
The Swans had players in the border regions, including Jacob and Lucas Conlan, who'd gone to test themselves in the Ovens and Murray but were going to come back to the Swans. The rules restricting travel out of Albury made that another factor to consider. "We were happy to provide them somewhere to play footy until that obviously became a big question mark over the last week. It's unfortunate guys like that - the two Conlans, Isaac Campbell, Jack Rowston - had gone away to play higher level and haven't had that opportunity," Harris said. "Where it made sense we would have been happy to welcome them back into the club."
Harris said they didn't want spend the weekend in limbo and the rapid development of this week had changed their mind. "With the season just around the corner, we thought it was appropriate. We met during the week to come up with the club perspective and wait and see what the AFL Riverina board was doing but at the end of the day, it's an opportunity to get on with it and provide some clarity for everyone," Harris said. Like his Narrandera counterpart Mark Savage, Harris thank the AFL Riverina board for their tireless efforts in trying to give clubs a competition to play in. The Swans say they'll work hard to keep their community together and prepare for next season. We'll go into some planning for next year but also look at ways of keeping our playing group involved in the footy club, looking at events and getting together and what we can do, getting the boys and netballers together," Harris said. (The Area News - Monday July 13, 2020).
TIME TO GO HOME - By Peter Doherty
WILL Griggs who steered Griffith to two grand final appearances in his two seasons as coach, has called time on his stint at the Swans. After five seasons at the club, including two as an assistant coach, Griggs has committed to play at Queanbeyan Tigers again next year.
He won a premiership back at his home club this season, travelling from Griffith to play in the AFL Canberra competition after the Swans withdrew from the AFL Riverina Championship.
"It wasn't an easy decision but I think it's time to go back home and see the family and all my mates back there," Griggs said. "It's been a good few years but it's time for the next chapter."
Griggs has been a key figure in the turnaround at the Swans since joining the club in 2015. He was assistant to Adrian Pavese in 2016 and 2017 when the Swans returned as a finals force in the Riverina League.
He then looked like leading them to the promised land but a premiership ultimately proved elusive.
Despite an impressive record of 31 wins in 38 games as coach, there grand final losses to Collingullie-Glenfield Park and Wagga Tigers in 2018 and 2019. (The Area News - Monday November 9, 2020).
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