2022 RFNL SEASON
Apr 8 MCUE (h) Apr 23 LW (a) Apr 30 CGP (h) May 7 GGGM (h) May 14 TP (a) May 21 bye May 28 WT (a) Jun 4 CR (h) Jun 18 NI (a)
Jun 25 MCUE (a) Jul 2 LW (h) Jul 9 CGP (a) Jul 16 GGGM (a) Jul 23 TP (h) Jul 30 bye Aug 6 WT (h) Aug 13 CR (a) Aug 20 NI (h)
Finals - Aug 27 QF Aug 28 EF Sep 3 SF2 Sep 4 SF1 Sep 11 PF Sep 17 GF The Man on the Fence
Ladders Player Stats Record Netball Women AFL Swans Awards
Click on image to enlarge
IN: Jordan Crowe (Coleambally), Sam Foley (Barellan United), James Girdler (Waratah Tigers RL), Darcy McDermott (Barellan United), Guy Orton (Coleambally).
OUT: Blake Argus, Dean & Kyle Bennett (Coleambally), Angus Bartter (CSU Bushpigs), Brady Chambers (Barellan United), Henry Delves (Ainslie), Lucas, Mitchell & Riley Irvin, Lachlan Killalea (Barellan United), Jack & Tom Powell (Ainslie), Dean Schmetzer, Jack Whitehead (Barellan United).
HARRIS CALLS TIME 0N TENURE - By Matt Malone
OUTGOING Griffith president Jeff Harris is confident the Swans are well-positioned for a bright future after stepping down following nine years in the job. The reign of the Riverina League's longest-serving current club president came to an end at Griffith's annual general meeting last week.
Former junior club president Paul Rogerson has stepped into the top job but Harris won't be lost to the Swans after deciding to stay on the committee and accepting the treasurer's role.
While he narrowly missed out on senior premiership success with two grand final defeats during his tenure, Harris was in the president's chair as Griffith strengthened their position as one of the biggest clubs in the competition. Harris believes it benefits all parties for a change at the top. "I think it's good to share it around a bit," Harris said. "I've taken a seat at the Office Choice national board and with two young kids at home, it's a good time to lighten the workload and let someone else step in and reinvigorate it. "There is good people who have taken seats and they put their own spin on it and take the club to another level again".
Harris enjoyed his time as president. "Like most people, I've got more out of it than I've put in," he said. "I've learnt a lot over the time and I really enjoyed the footy and netball club environment, the social aspect and culture. It's been a very rewarding job."
The Swans players numbers have grown from around 350 to about 750 across football and netball, in juniors and seniors, during that time.
The club has been a force, particularly, in reserve grade and under 17 football in recent times and are undergoing a rebuild in seniors where the focus has shifted back to locals and club juniors. "I was lucky, I inherited a great junior program and we've seen great growth and are starting to see the rewards of that in our seniors," Harris said. "Our focus is on locals and blooding those juniors into senior group now."
Rogerson, in that regard, is the perfect man to take over from Harris given he has overseen the junior club for the past five years. He paid tribute to Harris' work and said it was exciting times moving forward at Griffith.
"I'm hoping to carry on from Jeff's good work," Rogerson said. "The club is still focused on young local talent and filling the first grade side up with that. Having been across the juniors, it's going to be good as senior president to watch them progress into senior teams. "It is quite a new committee so it will be nice to have some new energy on the committee but we also want to recognise the amazing work done by Jeff over the last nine years, he's laid the base for the club and I'm looking forward to providing some vigor into the place."
Griffith has also appointed club legend Mick Duncan as reserve grade coach. His appointment means the Swans have three life members leading their three football teams in 2022.
(The Daily Advertiser - Thursday December 16, 2021).
PROSPECTS OF THE COMING SEASON - By The Man on the Fence
IT is early yet to speak of the new committee, but if enthusiasm goes for anything, the Griffith Swans Football Netball club is bound to succeed. The present committee are putting their backs into the work, and if success is not achieved it will be no fault of theirs.
What are the season's prospects? This is a question which cannot, just at the present, be answered with any certainty. It is too early to predict what the "Swannies" will do during the season. But if good wishes and luck go for anything then the club should have a satisfactory season.
I have come to the conclusion that Griffith will have an abundance of youth on their side. It is not what may be termed a "finals combination" as it was the case, pre "covid" days. But is a team which has the appearance of improving as it goes along the way. That is what is essential if success is to be achieved. They are, each and every one, animated with the desire to do their best for their club and themselves.
The players and the committee will do their little bit, of that I have no doubt. But the team cannot be run unless the followers of our great footy code come forward and support the team by attending matches at Exies Oval. Do not leave it all to the players and the committee. That will not keep the ball rolling.
So, in conclusion let me urge upon everyone connected with the Swans to play the game straight in every way, do your duty by the club and may the 2022 season be the brightest in the history of the Griffith club.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
SWANS REBOOTED - By Jon Tuxworth
GRIFFITH coach Greg Dreyer admits the club has been given a chance to hit the reset button as they continue their quest to replace recruits who won't return this season. Canberra recruits Tom and Jack Powell and Henry Delves have departed the club, and ensuring the senior team returns as a strong unit will be a deliberate process. "They were good players and they'll be sorely missed, but it's a long way to travel and we understand that" Dreyer said.
A new era is already starting to take place with Jeff Harris replaced as president by Paul Rogerson after opting to stand aside after a nine-year tenure. Reigning best and fairest winner Jack Rowston has also taken over from long-time predecessor James Toscan as captain as the Swans look to build on last year, where they finished second-last ahead of Narrandera.
Dreyer took over as coach after the Swans took 2020 off due to COVID and said the 'gap year' had taken some time to re-emerge from. A reluctance for players who were a chance to win a flag with their incumbent clubs, only for a season cancellation to deny them, is also making recruitment tougher for all clubs.
The Swans made the 2018 and 2019 grand finals but have lost some players who headed elsewhere the following year when the club didn't play.
"We're talking to people, but nothing you'd say is concrete. We're trying our best to get a couple of recruits," Dreyer said. "Having a season off, it doesn't happen (for footballers) does it. Guys in those grand final teams have moved on to stronger comps and better footy, blokes aren't just going to sit still. "We have a chance to have a real reset on everything and it's going to take a bit of time.
The young blokes have some talent, it's getting the senior team back up to scratch."
The Swans have most boxes ticked in their bid for inclusion in next year's Premier League and Dreyer is confident the cyclical nature of football will ensure they'll return as an on-field threat. "We've had limited conversations about that, but we've made a concerted effort to shore up our committee, and we've filled those spots pretty well," Dreyer said.
"We're concentrating on what the guidelines say about off field criteria, but we need to get a stronger senior team. "Our other grades were fairly strong last year and our netballs strong.
We were always going to do that (build from within). Our juniors have always been nice and strong with numbers, we've got to try and develop them. "We've got the crop we played last year as well, and they'll be a year older and wiser. We'll be using them again, but we probably need to top up with a couple a mature boys.
"From what I gather from those conversations we are keen to be involved in the Premier League."
Dreyer said Jack Rowston is ready to step up as their on-field leader. "Tosco (Toscan) was keen to step aside, he's done the job for a number of years. We offered it to Jack, and he was very keen," Dreyer said. "He's very passionate about his footy, he's well respected and the boys will follow him." (The Daily Advertiser -Tuesday, February 01, 2022).
NEW BEGINNING - By Matt Malone
A SPECIALLY FORMED assessment group will decide the fate of AFL Riverina clubs for the new-look premier league. The new league will be known as AFL Riverina Premier Division and was unveiled at a special lunch at The Rules Club (Wagga) on Wednesday.
The Riverina and Farrer League names will be dumped as part of the brand-new era for Australian Rules in the region. The 'old' Farrer League will now become AFL Riverina Community Division One, while there will also be AFL Community Division Two (reserve grade) and AFL Riverina Community U17.5s. The premier division will have their own reserve grade and under 17.5s.
AFL Riverina released their timeline for the switch at the launch with applications for all leagues to close on June 30, with clubs to learn their fate on August 6. A six-person assessment group will determine how many clubs from AFL Riverina Premier Division and will mark applications against a weighted criteria list.
The weighted criteria list will be sent to clubs on April 15, as part of communication inviting clubs to nominate for the competition.
AFL Riverina hope to finalise the make-up of the six-person assessment group by the end of the month. It will consist of an independent chair, two AFL representatives, an AFL board member, an AFL Riverina Competition Management Committee member and an AFL Riverina netball representative.
As part of the new structure, new names for premiership trophies, best and fairest awards and leading goalkickers will be introduced.
AFL Riverina also confirmed the two leagues have different salary caps and player point allocations. It also explained that the clubs to each competition will be reviewed annually for the first three years.
After applications close on June 30, the assessment group will hand their recommendations to AFL Riverina on August 1.
(The Daily Advertiser, Thursday, February 24, 2022).
WHAT HAS THE SEASON IN STORE FOR SWANS? - By The Man on the Fence
ANOTHER football season has come round, and for the past sixty years many of us have had the opportunity of witnessing our mighty Swans perform at Griffith's Ex-Servicemen's Oval against the various clubs which go to make up the Leagues. Years may come and years may go, but enthusiasm for the Australian Rules code all over the Riverina seems to be on even par rather than diminishing, as some of our critics would have us believe.
Supporters of our club can rest assure the players are keen on doing their best, and if they can climb to the top of the table they will do so. But we must recognise that this season at any rate Griffith Swans is starting near the bottom of the ladder. To climb to the top is not an insurmountable task, but handicapped like the club has been, it will be well to recognise the difficulties in the way, and not expect too much.
The club has got together a band of young and enthusiastic players, keen not only in making reputations for themselves but for the welfare of the club to which they have come allied.
Next year (2023) will in all probability see two new leagues, (proposed names) Riverina Premier and Riverina Community? The so called 'powers to be' must have probably thought the Riverina League and 'old' Farrer League, good, no doubt, had served its purpose. But very much depends on how things shake down! Hopefully clubs have shown a desire to progress, sentiment has been done away with, and now after some heartburning it has come to be recognised that clubs must stand or fall by their merits. (March 1, 2022)
AFL RIVERINA READY TO LISTEN TO CLUBS - By Peter Doherty
AFL RIVERINA is ready to listen to clubs - and a backflip on changing the names of the Riverina and Farrer League competitions isn't out of the question - at Sunday's annual general meeting.
After a week of emotional debate, including arguments that Farrer League clubs should go their own way, senior AFL NSW-ACT official Marc Geppert said he hopes clubs and the governing body find common ground.
"I think a lot of the feedback is very valid and the AFL Riverina board will need to consider that feedback and decide whether or not there's be some slight changes," Geppert said. "But there's still some fundamental issues, especially in the Farrer League, that regardless of a restructure need to be addressed.
The under 17.5s competition is a great example of that." Geppert said registration numbers declined across Farrer League club in recess years while Riverina League numbers have grown. He doesn't believe the tidal wave of opinion should spell the end of the review nearly four yeas in the making.
Most clubs appear united in anger right now but, by their nature, have conflicting priorities when it comes to matters most. "It doesn't throw the whole process out the window. I suppose it provides opportunities for the AFL Riverina board to look at things a little bit differently and tinker with a few things," Geppert said.
"The issue we're got is there are 18 (senior) clubs all with individual needs and none of them are the same. "Some of them are big clubs, some of them are small clubs. "Some want same day (seniors and juniors), some can't play same day footy. To have a structure that lines up with all those needs is basically impossible."
Geppert isn't surprised by the passionate reaction, saying the proposed changes are the biggest in 40 years.
Farrer League concerns began with the tiered community league. A new name, wiping 60 years of history (and 40 years for the Riverina League), saw it explode.
"I think that's something the AFL Riverina board needs to take into account, (considering) how we retain the history of these competitions while planning for the future?" Geppert said.
Geppert said it was not AFL NSW-ACT calling the shots but the independent AFL Riverina board. As the state's regional manager he is one of six members, alongside five volunteers Michael Irons (chairman), Phillip Rowston (vice-chairman), Janine Fitzsimmons, James McLeod and Jacinta Murphy.
"The AFL can't make these decisions under the governance model... Ultimately the AFL Riverina board will make the decisions," he said. "The AFL Riverina board is elected by the clubs and they are representatives of the clubs. The best way to get change is to either form part of a board or be in constant consultation with that board around the challengers that the clubs have."
Geppert said the review had a set out to look after clubs by offering a flexible league if some struggle for numbers in the coming years, while also catering for thriving clubs keen to keep raising the bar.
He agrees small clubs need to be able to recruit and said the overriding concern has been numbers in the under 17.5 age group.
(The Daily Advertiser - Saturday, March 5, 2022).
SWANS SET TO REPLY ON LOCAL TALENT FOR 2022 - By Jon Tuxworth
GRIFFITH will bank on their local talent to steer the ship this season after struggling to attract recruits, but were encouraged by what they saw in Saturday's first trial against East Wagga-Kooringal.
A handful of late withdrawals, a couple due to COVID, meant the Swans travelled to Gumly Oval with just 17 players and were forced to borrow a Hawks player for the contest.
James Toscan, Kahlan Spencer, Sam Daniel and Sam Foley, were the only senior players in the side.
All things considered, Swans coach Greg Dreyer was pleased with the hit-out, in particular from younger players Nick Conlan and Mason Rosengreen. The versatile Conlan played in every third of the ground while Rosengreen played in the uncustomary position of ruck.
"Considering the group we had there was some good positives there. The young blokes played pretty well and we were well beaten, but we got better as the game got on," Dreyer said.
"We had cricket finals on so a lot of the senior boys were out. It was basically just a mix up team we could get and had a couple pull out through COVID. "The intention was there, we started the week with about 24 players and ended up with 17.
"Conlan and Rosengreen were pretty good. We asked Mason to play in the ruck and it's not his spot he's athletic and did some good things. "His best spot is on the wing as he has pace and is lean. Who knows with round one, but they'll be in the mix as the year goes in if they keep improving."
Dreyer said it was a difficult exercise to lure players from their incumbent clubs this year, give they have unfinished business after last year's seasons were cancelled. "We haven't had much luck with recruiting this year. It's one of those years, we've spoken to a lot of people but no one of note really, although Sam Foley has returned to the club from Barellan.
"We could have some lined up for the year after, we'll keep talking to them. A lot of blokes want to stay put because their comps got called off, we found that a lot. "There was some initial interest for 2023, but not 2022."
The Daily Advertiser - Wednesday March 23, 2022.
SUMMERS MAKING EVERY POST A WINNER - By Jon Tuxworth
GREATER Western Sydney Giants Academy coach Cameron Bernasconi has backed the Riverina's "really strong" player group to capitalise on an overdue chance to showcase themselves in front of Melbourne recruiters.
The side will play its third and final Academy Series game against Gold Coast on Sunday. It will be followed by four NAB League games all against Victorian sides.
Griffith's Jay Summers, a newcomer to the program, kicked one of his two goals after the siren to seal a 6.10 (46) to 6.7 (43) win over Brisbane Lions in Queensland last weekend.
Bernasconi said the Riverina talent this year, headlined by Summers, Osborne's Nick Madden and Turvey Park's Luke Fellows is particularly healthy. The Riverina has a really strong talent crop this year, most of our top end talent is from there," he said. "Ruckman Nick Madden has been unbelievable, a step above. "His ruck craft and marking around the ground and kicking goals each week, he's been super impressive.
"Luke's been great with his running patterns on the wing and his ability to help in defence. "He got voted into leadership, he's a pretty shy kid but has really come out of his shell this season."
Bernasconi said he was excited by how quickly Summers had stepped up to the level after he played a handful of Riverina League senior games for Griffith Swans last year. "He's been a great little addition. He turned up this year at our trial and has played every game," he said. "He had six scoring involvement and finished with two goals. He's been impressive in how he adapted to the level immediately and has some exciting traits with his speed and competitiveness. "He's a small forward hybrid midfielder, a super versatile kid."
COVID has robbed young talent of some chances to put their names up to light in recess years, which means the NAB League games in Victoria are a huge opportunity. "It's an opportunity for the boys to be exposed to recruiters down there against their top end talent," Bernasconi said. (The Daily Advertiser - Saturday March 26, 2022).
AFL RIVERINA BACKDOWN - By Peter Doherty
AFL Riverina has bowed to history, tradition and a wave of public sentiment, agreeing to reinstate the Riverina League and Farrer League names for next year. Chairman Michael Irons told The Daily Advertiser on Thursday evening that their plan to start afresh would be reversed, following an outcry over the proposal AFL Riverina Premier League and AFL Riverina Community League rebrandings.
"The strong desire of the clubs to retain the names and identities made us reconsider," Irons said.
The Riverina League Football and Netball League will include all three grades of football.
The Farrer Football and Netball League will formally be Division One (first grade) and Division Two (reserves) as well as a Farrer League Under 17.5s.
AFL Riverina says the separate tiers offer options in case clubs can't field all three grades. It's been a sticking point since Cootamundra applied to join in second grade only this year but Irons reassured clubs it's about flexibility for the future. "Their may not be a situation for next year or for the next five years but we want to at least have that plan of options on the table for clubs, not react every year when there's an issue with a club and the playing numbers they can support," he said.
Irons said the backflip on names doesn't mean they've lost the confidence of clubs. "No, it's about taking on board the feedback. Obviously some clubs weren't clear on what the recommendations of the independent Burgess review included, and we'd said we were proceeding with those changes for 2023 and made a decision," he said. "But once we made a decision and have seen the reaction from clubs and their strong desire to retain the identities we/re been able to consider that."
AFL Riverina is confident the review remains on track, with clubs to apply for leagues by June 30 and decisions by August 8.
(The Daily Advertiser - Friday April 8, 2022).
SWANS FACING DIFFICULT START - By Liam Warren
THE Griffith Swans will get their 2022 Riverina Football League season underway this weekend when they face Mangoplah-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes at Exies Oval.
The Swans will head into the game with almost a full squad with only the GWS Giants Academy squad members missing, but coach Greg Dreyer knows his side will be up against this weekend. "They were very good last year, and I'm expecting much the same," he said. "I expect them to be one of the top two again this season. Fingers cross we don't have any COVID cases at the moment, so that's nice, but it's still early."
Dreyer is happy with how the side has approached the season in what started out as a bit of interrupted preparation. "We have had a few interruptions, but the preseason camp (at Moama) was well attended, and generally, training has been pretty good," he said.
"They have put a lot of work in where they can, and we have had the odd COVID cases here and there as well, so we are a bit stop start in the first six to eight weeks, but since then, it has been nice and consistent.
"I think everyone else is in the same boat, and the first three or four weeks will be basically part of the preseason anyway."
The club has welcomed back Jordan Crowe, Sam Foley and Guy Orton to the club but has lost some of their younger group to Coleambally and Barellan, with the likes of Dean and Kyle Bennett and Lucas, Mitchell and Riley Irvin deciding to play in the Farrer League.
Another change in the off-season has been the leadership group, with Jack Rowston taking over from long-serving captain James Toscan. Dreyer said Rowston had taken the added responsibility in his stride.
"I think he is enjoying it and learning on the run because it is a big job for a young bloke," he said. "He gets involved in training and talks to the group, and he has that respect from around the group and the club."
The Rowston name has a long association with the club with his father Phil, now coaching the under 17.5s side, inducted as life member in 2021. (The Area News - Friday April 8, 2022).
SWANS SHOW EARLY PROMISE - By Jon Tuxworth
IT was an encouraging start against the expected contender, but Griffith coach Greg Dreyer is confident his squad has more to give after 19-point loss to Mangoplah-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes. Although missing some of their prime movers, the Goannas were tipped to comfortably account for the Swans, but the hosts briefly held the lead before the visitors steadied. Their intensity and energy drew praise from rival coach Jeremy Rowe, and Dreyer said it was a solid foundation to start the season.
The Swans won just two games last year and avoided the wooden spoon on percentage, but the early signs were strong they have improved. "The boys certainly had a good go. Generally it was pleasing, but their were a few areas we could do with some practise," Dreyer said. "We worked pretty hard through summer on the way we move the ball, and there were some glimpses of that. We controlled possession a bit better than last year and our backline was pretty solid. "They kept us in it in the first half, and the mids had a good third quarter to get us back level pegging."
Dreyer said being more patient and deliberate with the football, as well as intensity, were the big focuses over summer. "Just the way we moved the footy was better I thought, rather than just kick it and hope which happened a bit last year," he said.
"It probably wasn't as consistent as we know that we can do it, but it was certainly an improvement on last year that's for sure. "Everyone played their part through the game, just getting it more consistent effort from everyone is the goal. "When we put it together we can compete with other teams."
Dreyer said he hasn't made major overhauls to the game plan as the young side, missing all their Canberra recruits from the past couple of seasons, looks to develop. "It's more about talking to the boys about lowering their eyes and controlling it, and being aware where we are in game situations. "Do we slow it down, do we speed it up? We only played at one speed last year. "We're trying to build on last year and expand. You can't revamp the whole thing with a young squad like ours. "We did talk a lot in preseason about intensity, so it's pleasing to see the opposition coach notice it." (The Daily Advertiser - Monday April 18, 2022).
McPHERSON TO CHAIR ASSESSMENT GROUP - By Matt Malone
FORMER Southern NSW AFL regional manager Jason McPherson will chair AFL Riverina's nomination assessment group for the premier league. AFL Riverina received nominations from 13 clubs when applications closed on Sunday night for next year's restructured 'premier' Riverina League competition. All nine existing Riverina League clubs have applied to remain in the competition, along with four Farrer clubs in Marrar, East Wagga-Kooringal, North Wagga and Northern Jets. The applications will now be handed over to AFL's David Burgess, who will prepare the information for a specially formed nomination assessment group to mark.
McPherson, who worked for the AFL for 15 years, has been selected as the independent chair. He will be joined by AFL staff members Marc Geppert and Joel Robinson, AFL Riverina vice-president Phil Rowston, Farrer League president Greg Fox and former Hume Netball League president Julianne Clancy.
AFL Riverina chairman Michael Irons said McPherson was a perfect fit. "Jason has a well-rounded experience and knowledge of the local area but also what we've worked through with the review," Irons said.
He is also happy with the diversity of the nomination assessment group. "Yes we think we've covered as many bases as we could and have a variety of people involved going through the assessment process," he said.
Irons believes the fact 13 clubs have applied to enter the new-look premier league is a positive for the review. "We're happy with the response," he said. "Obviously it was a decision for each club to make, whether they wanted to apply or not. We'll obviously go through a process now to assess those applications."
The assessment group is expected to have about a month before they deliver their recommendations to the AFL Riverina board. "David Burgess is going through compiling all the information to provide to the assessment committee and they'll work through and undertake their scoring and make a recommendation to the board for a final decision for the board to make."
(The Daily Advertiser - Wednesday June 29, 2022).
READY FOR DERBY - By Liam Warren
THE Griffith Swans will be heading into the derby, hoping they can pick up their second win of the season. This weekend will see the Swans take on their arch-rivals, Leeton-Whitton at Exies Oval and the Crows are the only side the Swans have taken points off this season. The Swans are hopeful of getting captain Jack Rowston back after he missed the heavy defeat at Mangoplah last weekend, while Reece Matheson and Jimmy Nancarrow will both have to prove their fitness at training on Thursday.
It has been a difficult month for the Swans, with heavy defeats to Coolamon and Mangoplah on either side of a tight loss to Narrandera. Despite the difficult season so far for the Swans, coach Greg Dreyer said the players heads are still in the right place. "Pretty good we have had a good chat about all that," he said. "The Coolamon game, they got a lot in the last 15 minutes and blew it out a bit. Narrandera was a better effort, and we spoke about the consistency and pressure. "Against Mango, we got well beaten, but we competed and had footy down our end plenty of times, we just aren't converting. That is the main issue.
"Effort is good, and their intent and they are still training well, so they are still trying hard."
Despite the weekend being a derby game, Dreyer won't be approaching this game any differently. "From our point of view it doesn't matter who we are playing, we have been talking about our pressure and doing that consistently," he said. "It has been improving, we can see by the stats we take that our tackle rate is up.
"Execution is obviously a big issue, and we are still practising, and that is just time, and we have to get reward for effort. "The ball is getting forward we just aren't converting and not holding it in our forward 50 well enough." (The Area News - Friday July 1, 2022).
ROWSTON NAMED MVP FOR THE ALLIES - By Matt Malone
GRIFFITH teenager Harry Rowston is satisfied he's done all he can to impress prospective AFL clubs after a stellar Under 18 National Championships. Rowston was crowned most valuable player for the Allies after they finished their championships in style with a two-goal win over Western Australia, 11.7 (73) to 9.7 (61), in Adelaide on Saturday. Rowston produced another polished display to finish and was rewarded with the MVP award for the Allies, a team made up of the best talent from NSW-ACT, Queensland, Tasmania and Northern Territory. The 17-year-old was happy with how he performed on the big stage. "I was pretty happy.
Obviously it would have been nice to get a few more wins but it was pretty good.," Rowston said.
The Allies lost their opening three games to South Australia (37 points), Victoria Metro (16 points) and Victoria Country (33 points) before finishing off with a win over WA. Rowston had 17 disposals in the final game and was named his team's second best. Rowston was given the licence to play a Dusty Martin type role and was pleasantly surprised with the result he produced. "I was a little bit surprised.
I had a little bit of self confidence. I just tried to tell myself I was good enough to play at that level and do well and it was nice to actually play well," he said.
Me and the coach, Cam Bernasconi, had a bit of a joke going on, playing a Dusty role, play in the midfield and then try and roll forward and kick some stags, which is pretty good,. I got my hands on the footy inside the contest and got to push forward and kick a few goals so it worked pretty well."
Those watching Rowston have been impressed by significant improvement in his game over the past two years. He puts that down to hard work. "Mostly through fitness," he said. "Over the last two pre-seasons, I realised I wasn't quite up to scratch with that sort of thing, so I put in a lot of hard work over the summer on my fitness, which has allowed me to get around the ground a bit better and get my hands on it, and improved my footy all round." Rowston hopes his performances proves enough to draw interest from AFL clubs.
"Obviously that's the end goal but I haven't really spoken to too many people just yet," he said. "I think it will start to ramp up in the next couple of weeks when all of the games have finished. Fingers crossed I've done I could."
For now, Rowston has returned to school at Kilmore's Assumption College and will focus on helping them to the Associated Grammar Schools Victoria title. After that, he hopes to return home to Griffith and get at least one game in in with his older brother Jack at the Swans. "I've got four weeks of school footy to go. We haven't lost a game of school footy so it's looking like we should make the grand final hopefully," he said.
"Then I'll go back and play for Calder Cannons in the NAB League. Towards the back end of the year, hopefully I'll get back and play a few games for Griffith, maybe." (The Daily Advertiser - Wednesday July 13, 2022).
SWANS OUT TO END SEASON ON HIGH NOTE - By Liam Warren
THE Griffith Swans will be out to make the most of three home games to finish the season, the first of which comes this weekend against Turvey Park. The Swans ended a tough part of the season with three of the top four over the last month with a road trip to Ganmain last weekend.
While the scoreline blew out a bit in the end, there were plenty of positives to take from the match. Swans coach Greg Dreyer said it was a case of not being able to match the Lions intensity in the second half that let the side down and the lack of first grade experience the squad has in those situations. "We were only four points down at halftime against the Lions, and they were obvious going to lift being the top side, and they are a big side as well," he said. "They didn't get any smaller in the second half, and their intensity increased, and we fell into a few bad habits, and we didn't execute cleanly and gave them opportunities that they didn't have in the first half. "It probably comes down to the experience of staying composed when you are under pressure."
Coming up against a Turvey side who will be looking to find their feet before heading into finals. Dreyer knows his side will be in for a tough test. "We want to try and finish the season on a high," he said. "We don't want to just run the season out and go through the motions we still want to be pushing and competing. We spoke about Ganmain, Collingullie and Coolamon, which are the top three, we had them all away in the last part of the year, and then we have three sides at home that are fifth or lower. "We wanted to get out and have a real dig at the top three sides at see where we sit, and we played some good footy." (Edited - The Area News - Friday July 23, 2022).'
AFL RIVERINA APPROVE CHANGES TO POINTS - By Matt Malone
AFL RIVERINA have given the green light for major changes to the Player Points Systems for next year. Riverina League clubs will have 39 points at their disposal, while Farrer League clubs will work with 37.
The changes were approved by the AFL Riverina board on Wednesday night after the changes came recommended from AFL NSW-ACT. The most significant change will see first grade players recruited from the Riverina League worth four points, with the value of Farrer League players to drop to three points.
AFL Riverina chairman Michael Irons said the board was unanimous in their support of the changes. "Yes, we were in favour based on the recommendation and the information by AFL NSW-ACT," Irons said.
Irons said the changes to the points system was in line with the changes been made to senior competition as part of the competitions review. "Based on the model that has been adopted through other parts of the country with the points system and having an established premier and leagues under that, it fits with the direction that we wanted to head under our competitions review and you will see that the major leagues do have a point of difference between that and the district leagues," Irons explained.
While the changes are another blow to Farrer League clubs, Irons' reminded clubs that there are still avenues for assistance. "The gap is a small gap," Irons said. "Clubs are still entitled to apply to the LEP (League Equalisation Panels) if they are seeking additional points or a review of players, that doesn't change. "So, there are still opportunities for the Farrer League clubs, where they are in a certain situation or have certain circumstances that may put them at a disadvantage to other clubs to seek dispensation."
The Farrer League is not alone in the changes, with the Hume League in the same boat. First grade footballers from the Hume League will also on be worth three points upon a transfer, while Riverina League players will be four upon arrival there.
Meantime, the 13 clubs that applied for entry into the new look 'premier' Riverina League competition next season are expected to learn their fate as soon as next week. AFL Riverina's nomination assessment group met this week to work through the applications and the board was given an update on Wednesday night. (The Daily Advertiser - Saturday, July 30, 2022).
NO CHANGE - FARRER CLUBS DENIED ENTRY - By Matt Malone
AFL RIVERINA chairman Michael Irons has launched a staunch defence of the review process after they announced there will be no change to the make-up of the two senior competitions next year. AFL Riverina unveiled the successful applicants for the new-look 2023 Riverina League competition on Tuesday and it was all nine existing clubs that were successful.
AFL Riverina's nomination assessment group recommended that the applications from four Farrer League clubs - North Wagga, East Wagga-Kooringal, Marrar and Northern Jets - be rejected, a decision that was ratified by the board. This means both the Riverina and Farrer leagues will remain nine-club competitions next season, ending months of conjecture and concern about what impact any changes would make.
Irons stood by the review process and backed that it had been a worthwhile exercise despite the lack of change. "Yes we believe it has," Irons said. "It has provided an opportunity for clubs to review where they were at and where they want to be and it's developed some tools for them to set a course for their club over the next few years and also to be able to measure the criteria or goals that they want to obtain that they can review that year on year. "It helps with new people coming on to the committee that they can see the direction the club is going as well."
Irons added that the AFL Riverina board was satisfied with the recommendations made to them by the assessment group, that was chaired by Jason McPherson.
"The Riverina Football Netball League will have nine teams. We have four clubs who have missed out and we will go through some feedback with them about their applications should they wish to submit again in 12 months time that will be considered then." (The Daily Advertiser - Wednesday August 10, 2022).
UNDER 17s FLYING FLAG FOR SWANS - By Liam Warren
AFTER two dominant years in the RFL under 17.5s competition the Griffith Swans will look to bring home some silverware on Saturday. The 17s will make the trip over to Narrandera Sportsground as the sole representative from Swans and will take on minor premiers Turvey Park. Swans president Paul Rogerson said it was a big moment for the club. "It is the first time we have seen our two junior sides come together and play as one 17s side for a couple of years," he said. "We were undefeated last year and didn't get to play because of COVID, so it is two years of under 17 sides coming up from our juniors, and it's really exciting."
The Swans did suffer a bit of a lull in the middle of the season, but coach Phil Rowston is confident that the side is hitting their straps at the right time. "A lot of that was because of injury, so we had a bit of a depleted squad there for a little while, and we did have a bit of a lull, but in the end, it probably wasn't a bad thing," Rowston said. "We worked on a few things and have gone back to basics and hit their straps at the right time, which was always going to happen when the boys came back from first grade as well."
The Swans welcome back some key players from first grade, but Rowston wanted to make sure the squad knew that wasn't going to be the magic potion. "We were conscious of not wanting the rest of the squad to think that that was going to be the magic potion, they still had a role to play," Rowston said. "The boys that have come back have stepped up in the leadership role and have lifted the standards at training, so it has worked out really well."
In the previous meetings between the two sides, the Bulldogs took the regular season games before the Swans were able to flex their muscle in the second round of the finals with a 55-point win. With the Bulldogs playing the minor semi-final in first grade, some 17s missed that game, and Rowston knows it will be a tough game on the weekend. "They will have a couple of extras who will come back into their side who didn't play last time, so it should be a good game," Rowston said. "They are in a similar situation to us; they have a massive base over in the Wagga juniors with two sides in each grade as we have."
The Swans coach knows his side has the ability to get it done if they stay in the moment. "It's finals footy, so it's always contested ball, so we just have to stay present in the contest, which is something that we have been talking about," Rowston said." A bit of self-belief in there as well because they have the ability to do it, and it's just another game of football. There are no extra magic potions it's just about doing the basics well and doing them well under pressure. "I have tried to explain to the boys that the further you go into finals, the pressure and the speed of the game goes up, so trying to keep your skill level up with that added extra pressure."
(The Area News - Friday September 16, 2022).
GIANT OPPORTUNITY - by Jimmy Meiklejohn
FOLLOWING the excitement of getting picked up by Greater Western Sydney in the AFL Draft on Monday night, Harry Rowston is now looking forward to making the most of his opportunity as a Giant.
While on the family farm harvest will continue on, Rowston is set to head off on Wednesday to start the next chapter of his life.
"I'm just keen to get up there and meet all the new teammates," Rowston said. "I'll head up on Wednesday and go halfway and then go the rest of the way on Thursday.
"To play alongside any of them or get a game would be pretty surreal and I'm looking to getting up there and earning the respect of my teammates. Hopefully I'll make some new friends and I want to make the most of the opportunity.
Rowston has been inundated with phone calls since becoming a Giant with him also receiving a warm welcome from coach Adam Kingsley.
"Adam Kingsley rang me last night and said congratulations and welcome to the club," he said. "He kept it pretty brief and then a few of the other boys have rung me this morning just to work out the details of where I've got to go and where I've got to be."
Rowston is packing light ahead of his upcoming three-week start to the pre-season with him to come home over Christmas before making the permanent move to Sydney in the new year. "I've got one bag and that's all I'm taking," he said.
Rowston was selected at pick 16 after a surprise first-round bid from the Sydney Swans causing the Giants to match the bid with the move catching Harry and his family off-guard with his father Phil out on the tractor at the time.
"Nobody knew it was coming, so we all looked at each other and didn't know what was going on," he said. "It took a few seconds for it to sink in and it was pretty surreal, I still can't get over the fact that it happened really." (The Daily Advertiser - Wednesday November 30, 2022).