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IN: Henry Delves (Ainslie), Reece Matheson (Barellan United), Jack and Tom Powell (Ainslie), Jack Rowston (Banyule), Kieran Ruyg (Belconnen Magpies), Thomas Shannon (Emmaus St Leos, VAFA).
OUT: Isaac Campbell (Culcairn), Daniel, Luke and Mathew Peruzzi (Coleambally), Beau Rees (Northern Jets).
DREYER UNVEILED AS SWANS COACH - By Jon Tuxworth
THE final piece of the Riverina League's coaching puzzle is in place after Griffith confirmed club stalwart Greg Dreyer will be at the helm next season, Dreyer, a club life member, was due to share the roll with Will Griggs this year, before the Swans opted not to participate in the AFL Riverina Championship.
Griggs has since opted to stay at home club Queanbeyan Tigers, where he played this year, after five seasons and two grand final appearances at the Swans.
Dreyer will be assisted by club junior and former VFL player Leigh Owen, who was also set to return to the Swans this year had they played, while captain James Toscan will fill a junior development role.
Dreyer has taken control of the under 15s program for some time, and president Jeff Harris said the familiarity with a number of youngsters who have either progressed to the seniors, or are on the verge of doing so, will be an advantage.
"He's been doing a fair bit of the 15s program over the last decade, and some of those kids are the ones coming into senior footy now so he's really got a good connection with our young brigade," Harris said.
"Greg's very well respected by the kids coming through, and it's a good link because we've got a wealth of talent and it's really important we get the that transition right.
"For us to put a group of locals in those roles probably sums up what we've about as a footy club for the last few years. We're promoting guys who are continually putting back into the club.
"We've been working on it (coaching structure) for a while and we figured that's where we'd like to end up. "Greg was going to be our senior co-coach with Will, so it's a natural progression.
Harris said Toscan will work specially with the juniors to help ease the challenge of assimilating to senior football. "He's heavily engage with the youth with some individual mentoring," Harris said.
(The Area News - Monday November 23, 2020).
EX-GRIFFITH FORWARD ON LEARNING LESSONS
ALBURY'S Jacob Conlan had played some top-level football before arriving at Tiger-land, but he'd never come across the professionalism. "Definitely the pre-season was different to what I was used to, three nights a week and everyone rocks up, it's not just the 10 blokes we had up at the Swans in November, here we had 60-odd and then everyone goes to the gym," he explained.
"But it was the video (analysis), they'd video a game every now and then in Griffith, maybe a final, but there were no reviews and no snippets on your own personal game, which is good. I like it."
Conlan signed with Albury after the 2019 season where he had won the Riverina Football League goalkicking with 66 for his junior club, Griffith Swans.
COVID guaranteed there would be no football last year, but it allowed Conlan and younger brother Lucas to ease into the Ovens and Murray lifestyle. "Just the pace of the game, it's so much quicker and you've got players coming out from the AFL, both in our team and some others, it's pretty unreal," he offered.
Conlan had played a handful of NEAFL games with Canberra Demons in 2019, but when a former player returned, he was on the outer and returned home, only to play in a second successive losing grand final.
Under the Ovens and Murray's players points system, the Conlan siblings are four-pointers, which places pressure on them to perform.
And it certainly didn't look good for Jacob when he kicked six straight behinds in the second game against Wangaratta Rovers and went goalless. "I don't know what that was, it was just one of those days where it wasn't working and once you miss a few, it starts to get in your head," he admitted.
"It's never been a weakness, I'm not elite or anything, but I'd back myself to kick more goals than points, but that was just a rough day in front of the sticks."
Conlan has shown his class in the games since, particularly with a five-goal haul against the miserly Wangaratta defence last week, booting three majors in the first quarter to blow the game open.
He now leads the Doug Strang Medal with 21, although the Tigers and Yarrawonga have played one more game than the other eight teams. Conlan faces another stern test away to Lavington today.
Given former Ovens and Murray top defender Brant Dickson is out injured, there's every chance another ex-VFL backman in Nick Meredith will oppose the strongly built 191cm, 95kg Conlan.
This will be the 21-year-old's first clash against the long-time and fierce rival of the Tigers and the Panthers will be desperate to rebound from a poor performance against the Corowa-Rutherglen Roos.
(By Andrew Moir - Bordermail, Saturday, May 8, 2021)
AFL URGES CLUBS TO PLAN FOR RESTRUCTURE
AFL NSW-ACT is encouraging Riverina and Farrer League clubs to take the time now for 'honest and open' discussions about their futures as the timeline ticks on a competitions restructure.
A tiered model is planned for 2023, featuring a premier league - for clubs with a full complement of grades, plus women's football - as well as a community competition offering greater flexibility.
It was a key recommendation of the independent review into AFL Riverina.
The state's regional manager for community football, Marc Geppert, said clubs know the minimum standards required for the leagues, and the nominations process will begin in March.
He is urging clubs to explore their best option. "There's no doubt clubs will start to see where they might fit. That's what's good about the minimum standards - it allows clubs to test themselves against the criteria and see if there are gaps or deficiencies that they need to fix (to apply for a premier league spot)," Geppert said.
"We've given them enough time to try and fix that. "But of course, clubs will start to look at themselves against the criteria and start to make those decisions and work out what's best for their footy club. "Clubs just need to be open and honest with themselves. It's not that we need to know where they're at. "It's internally within each club, they need to be honest with themselves and their members about where they might fit."
Timelines for AFL Riverina restructure
February 2022: competition names and structures launched
March 2022: nominations process opens for clubs
August 2022: competition make-up finalised
April 2023: new premier league and community league set to begin
Geppert believes the beauty of a tiered model is in providing options for the wide variety of clubs across AFL Riverina, from small communities to those in higher population centres.
Farrer League clubs East Wagga-Kooringal and North Wagga have indicated they'll explore the possibility of a premier league spot. The Northern Jets have told The Daily Advertiser they're keeping their options open at the moment, believing they're in a healthy position right now. Minor premiers Marrar - a club without juniors but with senior success in recent years - also haven't ruled out aiming higher.
"That's the beauty of criteria-based selection - everyone's got an equal opportunity to throw their hat in the ring," Geppert said. "That's what it's designed to do. It's designed to offer something for the clubs with more capacity to grow, and for smaller clubs that don't have that capacity to fit in where they're comfortable."
Nominations will be assessed by a panel.
The AFL is aware clubs are coming off two COVID-affected years, the full impact of which is yet to be seen.
But Geppert said it's the right time for them to carefully consider their strengths and weaknesses.
"We're pretty close to finalising the competition names and their structures, which we'll officially launch (announce) in February of 2022," Geppert said. "In March, the process of nominating for the leagues will occur. That's pretty early in the new year. "We want to be in a position by August 2022 to be announcing who will be participating in what competition for the following year."
He said AFL Riverina and AFL NSW-ACT are willing to work with clubs to help them meet their objectives and expects that there'll be some criteria that not all clubs can meet in the first season.
The belief is that the premier league expectations will raise the standards, from facilities and administration to football. Geppert said they're more than happy to meet with any clubs to help them digest the documentation and work through their planning process for 2023. (By Peter Doherty - The Daily Advertiser October 9, 2021).