2023 RFNL SEASON
Apr 15 MCUE (h) Apr 22 GGGM (a) Apr 29 bye May 6 LW (a) May 13 NI (a) May 20 TP (a) May 28 CR (h) Jun 3 CGP (h) Jun 17 WT (a)
Jun 24 LW (h) Jul 1 bye Jul 8 MCUE (a) Jul 15 TP (h) Jul 22 CR (a) Jul 29 GGGM (h) Aug 5 NI (h) Aug 12 CGP (a) Aug 19 WT (h)
IN: Henry Delves (Ainslie), Jack Hanna (Gumeracha, SA), Alec McCormick, Alex Page, Rhys Pollock and Dean Simpson (Queanbeyan), Daniel and Luke Peruzzi (Coleambally), James Treweeke (Ainslie).
Out: Todd Argus and Mark Bennett (Coleambally), Jamie Best (Queanbeyan), Tom Bartter, Ryan Best and Will Ellis (Barellan United).
DREYER PROUD OF SEASON DESPITE LOSS - by Jimmy Meiklejohn
GRIFFITH coach Greg Dreyer says he is immensely proud of the Swans' season despite falling short in the Riverina League grand final to Turvey Park. Last year the Swans record just the five victories while this season they finished with 10-1-5 record before going on to record impressive finals wins against Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong and the Bulldogs.
While falling short of the premiership, Dreyer said he was still immensely proud of the Swans' efforts to qualify for the grand final. "Oh yeah of course," Dreyer said. "I mean we had five wins last year and I think we only had five losses going into today. "I'm very proud. I mean they've worked hard but we were outplayed, and they were just too good today. "Whether it was that inexperience or the occasion I don't know, but we'll bounce back pretty hard I reckon. "There was 18 locals and I think there would be at least 15 go again next year and we've got more coming through. "So, we'll learn from it, and we'll get better."
The Swans got off to a hot start and had the first two goals of the games through James Girdler and Alex Page which saw them open up an early 12-point lead. However, the Bulldogs then kicked the next four goals of the contest and the Swans never regained back the lead.
Dreyer agreed that they started on the right note, however admitted that the Swans were unable to nullify the Bulldogs run and spread.
"I felt that we probably went away from the right effort areas a little bit," he said. "Like we didn't man up and we trying to get forward of the footy too early. "They are very well drilled, well coached and they are out of the back and away they go. "They like to spread and go sideways, and we knew that they did everything we talked about, but we just didn't handle the situation well enough."
Page was outstanding for the Swans in defeat and narrowly missed out on being named best on ground after a four-goal performance.
MORRISSEY RELISHING CHANCE AT FIRST SENIOR GRAND FINAL - by Jimmy Meiklejohn
SOME footballers can go through their whole career without playing in a single grand final however for Griffith's Bailey Morrissey he will get the opportunity in just his 13th first grade game. The 16-year-old made his first senior debut at the start of June and now three months later is preparing to play in what could be a drought breaking premiership win for the Swans.
Morrissey said that he and the rest of the side were excited to be playing in Saturday's grand final against Turvey Park. "Yeah, I'm really looking forward to it as are all the other boys," Morrissey said." We're really excited."
The young forward is only playing his third full season of Australian Rules however he already has quite the impressive resume which includes winning the 2022 leading goal kicking award in the under 17.5s competition.
Morrissey started this season in the underage competition kicking 20 goals in his first six games before being given the nod to making his senior debut against Collingullie-Glenfield Park. It was an impressive senior debut for the teenager as he kicked two goals. The youngster feels that he's now secured his spot in the side and has gained more confidence with every game. "I was a bit nervous in my first game, " he said. "But all the pressure sort of dropped off me as I started playing a bit more and the boys started realising that I'm not just a fill in."
The Swans hold a 2-1 advantage this season against the Bulldogs this season and Morrissey believed they could also get the job done today in the decider. "Yes, I am confident that we can get it done if we can keep playing like we're playing," he said. "I think it's just going to be who kicks the straightest and it's going to be a hot day so who's fitter on the day."
Finishing outside of finals last year, Morrissey agreed that it's been a stellar effort to qualify for the grand final and noted the Swans had potentially exceeded expectations this season. "Yeah, it is," he said. "I don't think anyone really expected us to go this far this year, but we've put the work in the pre-season, and it's paid off." (The Daily Advertiser - Saturday September 16, 2023).
ROWSTON HOPEFUL OF ENDING 20-YEAR WAIT - by Liam Warren
CAN the Swans end their 20-year wait for the first grade Riverina Football League premiership? Captain Jack Rowston believes they can. After having a bit of a slump in the middle of the season, the Griffith side found their stride and knocked off the top two sides in the competition to head into the grand final at the first opportunity.
Rowston feels that his side has shown in the finals series already that they have what it takes to claim the flag "Definitely confident, you don't get into a grand final without being a good footy side," he said. "We have done the hard work all year, starting with three nights a week during the pre-season.
Now it's just about getting over that last hurdle, and hopefully, the boys can get up for it."
There are some similarities to this weekend and the last time the Swans were able to claim the flag, namely the opposition. The Swans were able to pick up a 73-point win over the Bulldogs in the 2003 grand final, and that game featured Rowston's dad, Phillip, who kicked a goal and was among the Griffith's sides best.
Rowston said it would be a special feeling to lead the next Swans side to bring home the title. "It probably doesn't make too much of a difference, but if people look into those things, then it could be a bit of a good omen," he said. "Obviously, he has won one, so it would be nice to pick up one as well. It would just be a good day for the club in general, it's been 20 years, so we are really looking forward to it."
While the Turvey side finished the season as minor premiers, the Swans skipper is coming into the game knowing that past records go out the window on Grand Final Day. "Once you get to the grand final, it is about who wants it more on the day," he said. "I was part of the sides that lost in 2018 and 19, and it doesn't matter how much talent you have in your side, whichever side come out and wants to win it the most, they are the ones that win in grand finals. Anything can happen on grand final day."
With the temperature expected to reach the 30s on Saturday, it will be a warm end to the season, but with the make-up of both sides, Rowston doesn't think it will have too big an impact. "We have a young fit side, and so do Turvey, so I don't think the heat will worry us too much," he said.
(The Area News - Friday September 15, 2023).
FOLEY STOKED TO PLAY IN FIRST SENIOR DECIDER - by Jimmy Meiklejohn
GRIFFITH defender Sam Foley says he is stoked to be playing in his first senior grand final this weekend against Turvey Park. Foley cruelly missed out playing in the Swans 2018 grand final loss against Collingullie-Glenfield Park through injury while in 2019 he was playing reserve grade.
However just a short few years later, the Swans will again play in the decider and this time around Foley is ready and raring to go. "I'm stoked," Foley said. It's just been a completely different build up just knowing that you are in it. We've had that week off and it's just been really exciting."
The Swans were the recipients of a week off after defeating Turvey Park in the second semi final to win their way straight through to the decider. Given their last bye was in round 11 at the start of July, Foley believes the week off has been massively beneficial.
"I think we ended up playing 10 weeks straight," he said. So as much as we were sort of rolling, it's nice to give everyone a bit of a spell just to get their bodies right."
The Swans currently hold a 2-1 advantage following their three contests against the Bulldogs so far, however not one of those wins has been greater than 21 points.
Foley thinks Saturday would be another close contest and agreed that both teams look to play a similar brand of football. "We know they play a similar style to us," he said. "They like to use the wide ground, spread and use that extra handball. The three times we've played them we're stuck with them for about three quarters and then someone has sort of gone ahead in that fourth quarter. I expect the same thing."
Temperatures at Narrandera Sportsground are expected to hover around the 30 degrees during the first-grade final which will test both teams' fitness levels.
Foley however had no concerns about the warmer conditions and claimed that he had never seen a Swans outfit in better physical condition.
"I've never seen a Swans side so fit," he said. "They just love doing extras and they are all obviously young and they are just machines. They are a lot fitter than me when I was their age definitely. While only 23, Foley is one of the elder statesmen of the team having made his senior debut back in 2016.
(The Daily Advertiser - Friday September 15, 2023).
WE'RE READY'; GRIFFITH HOPE TO END MCUE A GRADE REIGN - by Tahlia Sinclair.
WITH three netball teams and their first-grade football all vying for premierships this Saturday, there's a good feeling around the club at the Swans. Georgia Fuller said the vibes among not only the A grade playing group, but across the whole club as they look to bring home four premierships on Saturday.
Having fallen short in last year's preliminary final, Fuller said the side is cherishing the opportunity to play in a grand final, knowing the opportunity doesn't come around often. "We've got three netball sides in grand final and our footy side as well, so the vibe around the club is great, everyone's pumped up," Fuller said. "It's sort of a reward for all the effort not just from this year but over the past few years, so it is definitely exciting."
"I think we were definitely disappointed last year; we've come close for the last however many years and it's not easy to make a grand final, we're very appreciative of that. "Now we're here and we're in this moment, it's not over yet, we've got a lot of work to do on the weekend and we'll be going in as hot as we can because we know grand finals don't come easy."
While excitement continues to build around the club, Fuller said the side is doing what they can to keep some normality in their game preparations. Maintaining their regular Tuesday gym and Thursday court sessions, Fuller admitted there has been plenty of excitement still despite sticking to their usual routine. "We have our last training (Thursday), we've kept the week like how we've trained all year, we've done the same sort of thing as usual, I'm sure Joh has some court specific stuff planned but we're just continuing to work through our basics," she said. (The Daily Advertiser - Friday September 15, 2023).
B AND C GRADE NETBALL SIDES CHASE FLAGS - by Liam Warren
THE Griffith Swans will be hoping to make a strong start to their grand final day when their lower-grade netball sides take to the court on Saturday in Narrandera. It has been a strong season for the C and B grade sides, who will be looking to finish their 2023 seasons with premierships that have been a long time coming for the club.
For C Grade, it will be a case of closing out what has been an undefeated season so far in 2023. The Swans have only dropped a single point in the C Grade all season, which came in the form of a draw against this week's opponents, Coolamon. Outside of that 34-all draw in round 14, the Swans have been hard to catch in the competition and will go into this weekend's as favourites to take home the flag, which will be their first since 2010, when they defeated Leeton-Whitton 40-36. The Griffith side will head in with confidence, knowing that they were able to take a 41-32 win over the Rovers in the Qualifying Final to advance to the decider.
The B Grade side has been fighting with Turvey Park for the top position all season, and the two will face off once more on the final day of the season. The two regular season fixtures saw both sides take a win off each other before the Swans were able to secure passage into the grand final with a 42-32 win in the Qualifying Final. If they were able to bring home the flag, it would be the first one in B Grade since 2006. (The Area News - Friday September 15, 2023).
GRIFFITH GETTING BEHIND THE SWANS - by Jimmy Meiklejohn
GRIFFITH assistant coach Sam Daniel says the town is abuzz ahead of the Swans' appearance in the Riverina League grand final this Saturday against Turvey Park. The Swans will play in their first decider since 2019 and are looking to claim their first senior premiership since 2003 when strangely enough they defeated the Bulldogs by 73 points.
The majority of the Swans side are locals and Daniel feels that a senior premiership would mean quite a bit to the community. "It's huge for the town," Daniel said. "I mean generally it is anyway, but because we've got so many local junior players in the side it's their friends and the whole town is just abuzz at the moment."
The Swans enjoyed a week off after overcoming the Bulldogs in the second semifinal a fortnight ago and Daniel believed that the break came at an ideal time. "I think the week off couldn't have come at a better time for us, " he said. "We had 10 weeks straight of really high-quality football against good sides and we had a few niggles as well. "Generally, I'm not the biggest fan of a week off before the grand final but in this circumstance where the boys are at it's been really handy for us."
Having a bye before a big final hasn't been all that successful so far this finals series with both Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong and the Bulldogs going down after entering a clash after a week off.
Despite a trend forming, Daniel felt the Swans could buck it and backed them to be ready to go on Saturday.
Alec McCormack injured a hamstring in the semi final win against the Bulldogs and despite initial fears he might miss the clash, Daniel revealed he was more likely than not to take the field. "He's looking pretty good," he said. "He'll go through a fitness test tomorrow night, but it's come along better than expected."
The Swans played in back-to-back grand finals in 2018-19, however weren't able to get the job done in either decider. There is only a small fraternity from those sides still playing and Daniel believed that the pain from those losses shouldn't be a major motivator ahead of Saturday's contest. "It is for me as I played in both of those," he said. "But I think we've only got four or five guys from these teams and the rest are 19–20 year old's and they've got no fear. "I don't think that has any impact on our group as a whole."
The Swans have been boosted this season by the inclusion of Queanbeyan quartet Rhys Pollock, Alex Page, McCormick and Dean Simpson who have added a fair bit of experience and class to the Griffith side.
Daniel thought the quartet's inclusion had been massive and more importantly they've fitted in like they were Griffith locals. "They've been excellent," he said. "I think sometimes you can get travelling recruits that feel like travelling recruits and then you get ones that feel like locals.
That's really the way they've been, they've slotted in like they've lived there their whole lives.
"Great people and really good for a young group in terms of mentoring and showing what's it's like to prepare when you are a good senior player whose played at a higher level. "They've just been fantastic for our group and Henry Delves has been the same." (The Daily Advertiser - Thursday September 14, 2023).
RICHARDS EXCITED BY THE CHANCE TO END THE SWANS' DROUGHT - by Matt Malone
GRIFFITH ruck Nathan Richards struggles to put into words what it would mean to play a part in ending the club's 20-year premiership drought. The talented big man was there in 2019 when the Swans gave up a half-time lead before going down to Wagga Tigers in the Riverina League decider.
Four years later, Richards will be back on grand final day and is hoping to play a leading roll in Griffith's first premiership since 2003. "Yeah it's 20 years this year. It would be unreal just thinking about it just now, it would be huge," Richards said. "We've had our chances in previous years, we had two in a row (2018-19) that we probably backed ourselves to win it and this year, with this side, still full of locals, a lot of young juniors that we can continue to build on, it would be huge. Words are hard to describe what it would actually feel like to bring one back to the club."
Richards was just 20 and in his first season back at the club in 2019. While it was four years ago, the lessons learnt that day remain strong in his memory. "I think what we learnt, and me especially, from the last grand final was the game's not over until it's over" he said. "I think last time we were up a couple of goals and after that the ball didn't bounce our way, they got a bit of a run on and we couldn't finish so it's really just quarter by quarter, contest by contest, don't take anything for granted this week."
Richards, a Griffith junior, has been with the club since that day. He was forced to take on a senior role sooner than most as the club went about a quick re-build.
Pretty well once that was finished and we lost the grand final, we blooded a heap of kids through and they've come on leaps and bounds over the last two or three years," he said. "This year the team is different. In 2019, I was a young guy, I was young but I was 20. And I'm only 24 now and I'd be in the top five or six older guys in the team we're such a young team.
"The kids that started playing at 16 are now getting onto their 50th senior game as 18, 19-year-old's and while they're young, they've play a lot of junior grand finals and the patch that have come through, they've won them just about every single year so they know how to win them.
"We 're a real good group, everyone is really excited and we've really had to earn it this year, it's been real good comp and it's crazy how things can swing, We had three or four losses in a row and then to come and beat Tigers last round and really build some momentum coming into finals and knock over Ganmain and Turvey and go straight in was huge for our confidence."
Richards has enjoyed a strong year in the ruck for the Swans and has been a pivotal part on their run to a grand final. He's happy with his efforts but not satisfied just yet. "I had a pretty slow pre-season because I sliced my hand open at the end of last year, so I didn't really get to get into full pre-season training until February," he explained.
"I knew we were going to have a really good group ... I just knew there was a lot of good blokes around me if I could do the work and get the ball where they wanted it, we could go a long way so yeah. I'm really happy but the job's not done."
He will go up against Sydney-based former VFL ruck Antony Forato from Turvey Park in Saturday's decider at Narrandera Sportsground. He knows the importance of that encounter.
"It's really going to be a battle in there," he said. "He's a very good ruckman and their midfield is also extremely handy so we just know going in as a midfield group that if we can win it out of there, that it's going to go a long way towards helping us secure the win."
The Griffith group watched Sunday's preliminary final together and were impressed by the Bulldogs' efforts coming from 39 points down to win. "For them to come out and kick five or six straight in the last quarter was massive ... that's the sort of thing we know that they're capable of." (The Daily Advertiser - Wednesday September 13, 2023).
MUNRO TAKES HOME BEST AND FAIREST MEDAL - by Tahlia Sinclair
IN JUST her first full season playing in the Riverina League, Johannah Munro has won the Riverina League Netball A grade best and fairest medal. The Griffith defender joined the club midway through the 2022 season and took on the playing coach role in 2023. Munro polled in all but three she played this season, earning a massive 32 votes across 16 games. Still in finals contention, Munro said last week that she loved playing with the Griffith side and is hoping to take them through to this year's grand final.
Alongside runner up Ash Reynoldson (MCUE, 29 votes), Munro sailed through the votes with third placed Tameka Scott (Collingullie-Glenfield Park) earning 19 votes. An ex-professional player, Munro has lifted the Griffith program to another level, working not only with the A grade side but enjoying involvement with the whole club. Not only taking home the medal, but Munro was also named both keeper and coach in the Riverina League team of the year.
It was a successful evening for the Swans, with Isabella Cavallaro named Kathryn 'Foxy' Bechaz medallist as best and fairest under 17's player. In the B grade competition, Swans Lyndzi Cornale was joint medal winner with Turvey Park's Charlotte Niuila after they each polled 16 votes throughout the season.
Also sharing a medal were Mischa Garrod (Turvey Park) and Sophie Edmunds (Mangoplah-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes) who after collecting 24 votes were named joint A reserve best and fairest players.
In C grade count, Wagga Tigers' Lucy Howard was awarded for her outstanding season.
Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong Emily McPherson received the rising star award. McPherson played 10 games in her first year competing in the Riverina League A grade competition, juggling Lions games with representative duties.
Alongside Munro, eleven players were named in the team of the year, with six of the nine clubs represented. Munro was joined by fellow Swans Georgia Fuller (captain) as wing attack, Jenna Richards (interchange), Collingullie-GP playing coach Olivia Jolliffe (vice-captain) in goal defence, Hannah Finemore. Mangoplah-CUE's Ash Reynoldson, Phoebe Wallace and Ash Moller were named on the court in wing defence, centre and goal shooter, Shannon Russell on the bench.
Sarah Hillier (Coolamon) was named in goal attack, Jess Allan (Wagga Tigers) and Prue Walsh (Ganmain-GGM) were named interchange. (The Daily Advertiser - Thursday September 7, 2023).
FINALS VICTORY PROVIDES BOOST - By Jimmy Meiklejohn
GRIFFITH captain Jack Rowston believes the Swans 15-point Riverina League qualifying final win will provide a real confidence boost to his young side. Going up against reigning premiers Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong, the young Swans outfit outclassed the Lions in three of the four quarters to set up a semi-final clash with Turvey Park.
It was a huge statement on the big stage from the Swans and Rowston believed the win would generate some nice momentum heading into the clash against the Bulldogs. "The back end of the year we probably didn't play as well as the first half," Rowston said.
"It's probably not so much coming of age because their a long way to go but just a nice confidence boost to show the boys that we are good enough. "Ganmain are one of the best sides in the comp and we've beaten them twice now, it was just a real confidence booster to just let the boys know that we are definitely good enough to compete with the top teams."
It was an impressive performance from the Swans who burst out of the blocks early kicking the first four goals of the game. There were a few numbers of Swans players who played in their first senior final on Saturday and Rowston said that he was proud of their performance in such an important game. "They didn't let the big stage get to them and everyone stood up," he said. "There were no passengers, and you wouldn't say anyone was a real standout for the day as it was a real big team effort.
"We didn't rely on the likes of Rhys Pollock and Nathan Richards and these types of blokes, everyone played their role and played really well, and it was pleasing." Bailey Morrissey and Patrick Payne had fantastic games for the Swans with Morrissey finishing with two important goals while Payne played important roles both down the back and up forward.
Rowston said that he was impressed with the pairs performance and noted they are amongst the younger members of the Griffith team. "They are blokes that are still at school and for them to stand up in big finals it shows the character of those two blokes," he said. "They just take it in their stride and just play footy."
The Swans face another big test this weekend against Turvey Park and Rowston is expecting a tough challenge against the Bulldogs. (The Area News - Friday September 1, 2023).
TOSCAN GLAD HE PLAYED ON AS ELUSIVE PREMIERSHIP BECKONS - by Matt Malone
LONG-SERVING Griffith footballer James Toscan was virtually retired at the end of last season.
His mind was all but made up, the club knew it but a conversation with coach Greg Dreyer at the end-of-season presentation night planted enough of a seed for him to play on.
The 33-year-old is glad he did as he prepares to line up in a second semi-final clash against Turvey Park at Narrandera Sportsground on Saturday. "Last year I was thinking about retirement pretty hard," Toscan revealed. "Dreyer, I had a bit of conversation with him at 'presso' night and he twisted my arm.
"Yeah, I'm glad I did play again. It's been a pretty enjoyable year. I've missed a few games in the middle of year with work but I think I've played five or six in a row now."
Toscan is a life member at Griffith. He's played 229 games for the club and is a former captain and assistant coach. He said the emerging crop of young talent at the club has helped bring out the best in him. "In all, the young guys have rejuvenated me a bit, I suppose," Toscan said. "They're a really good bunch of young blokes. "Me and Greg started with the young group three years ago and to see what they're doing now, it's pretty good."
A premiership is about all that is missing from Toscan's C.V. "That's always been the ultimate goal.
It would be nice to do it," he said. He played in the Swans back-to-back grand final defeats in 2018 and 2019 and believes this year's group has a different feel about it. "It's definitely younger," Toscan said.
"Back then we had some older heads that hadn't played many finals but this current group, they've won grand finals all through their junior footy and a lot of them played in our 17's flag, so they've got no fear, really."
Toscan has played just about everywhere for Griffith during his career. At the moment, he's back enjoying life as a forward and has returned 21 goals from 14 games. He is enjoying it in attack.
"It's good. We've got a bit of connection with Henry (Delves) now," he said. "It probably took a little bit to develop but with Henry and Patty Payne it takes the load off when you've got a couple of bigger fellas. "It is nice getting the second or third tall."
Turvey Park and Griffith have enjoyed one win apiece over the other this season. Toscan only played the second time around, when Griffith won at home, but recognises the two teams have a lot of similarities. "I played them at home about six weeks ago. They've got a pretty similar list profile and the way they play too, they want to run and carry, similar to us," he said. "We're obviously really looking forward to it, we think we can give it a shake." (The Daily Advertiser - Wednesday August 30, 2023).
GRIFFITH SWANS WEEKEND FINALS WINNERS - SENIOR & RESERVE GRADE
CONLAN IS EXCITED AHEAD OF FIRST SENIOR FINAL - By Jimmy Meiklejohn
GRIFFITH defender Nicholas Conlan is excited ahead of what will be his first senior final on Saturday when the Swans take on Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong in a qualifying final. Conlan is in his second year of senior football and has been reliable contributor off half back for the Swans this year.
Saturday's contest against the Lions will be one of the biggest of Conlan's young career and he admitted that he has some mixed feelings ahead of the qualifying final. Conlan will be most likely not be alone in terms of feeling nervous as only roughly half the team has experienced finals in the past.
With so much inexperience throughout the side, Conlan agreed that guidance from the leaders would be absolutely crucial on Saturday. "It going to be very important because we've got a lot of players that haven't experienced finals yet in seniors. So having them using their voice and showing us how to prepare that's going to be massive for our success I reckon," Conlan said.
The young defender said it was going to be a tough contest against the reigning premiers who enter the clash after dominating the second half of the season which saw them win seven straight games.
The Swans were able to get the job done over the Lions earlier in the season and Conlan believed they absolutely had a chance to end GGGM's winning streak. "I reckon we could get it done. Hopefully, that's the plan anyway and you can't come in not confident."
The midfield battle has proved pivotal both times the two sides have met so far this year and Conlan believes that getting on top in the middle would go a long way to claiming victory. "I reckon it's going to start with the midfield," he said. "'Pressure up the ground and then stopping their easy entry going forward. "It's pretty much based around our defence I reckon and how we use the footy coming into our forward line as well."
Narrandera Sportsground offers a lot of space to get their run and carry up and going and Conlan agreed the extra space could prove beneficial for the Swans this weekend. "Yeah, I'd say it would," he said. "I feel like we match up well in the in and under and then I feel like we've got that outside play as well that we can go to and the bigger ground makes it a bit easier to do."
Conlan hasn't been shy to take the game on this year coming off half back and admitted that he was looking forward to having some added space to work with this weekend.
(The Daily Advertiser - Thursday August 24, 2023).
GREAT RESULT FOR FINALS BOUND SWANS - By "The Man on the Fence"
THERE is no doubt about it. We saw premiership form at Griffith last Saturday afternoon and from a long acquaintance with the game played here from Griffith Swans' teams in the past I have no hesitation in saying that was the best display we have even shown against Wagga Tigers on the Griffith Ex-Servicemen's Oval. It was a grand victory and only the 8th we have obtained from 39 Tiger visits to the ground - record showing 30 wins for Wagga, with a solitary draw in 2011.
Tigers are always assured of a hearty welcome when they appear on any visiting ground, and the matter in which the Griffith folk cheered the team when Murray Stephenson led them onto the field last Saturday, only served to show what popular visitors they are to our city.
The match, however, was chiefly conspicuous for the splendid display by the defences of both sides, for although there was some exciting running play up and down the field, the last line of defences generally dominated the game. Early in the game an unfortunate accident to Alec McCormick brought about a change, and Patrick Payne came back to take his place at full back on the ever-dangerous Tigers skipper.
It was a game where the Swans superb high marking and play-on football kept the Tigers under continuous pressure. The visitors responded to the challenge and stayed with the Swans until just after half time, then we kicked three goals to one to have a handy lead at the last break. And by the end of the game Griffith had pulled away from Wagga to record a 38-point victory.
Finally, in summing up, it's obvious that there are stars ready to shine on every line in the Swans team. How about the mighty Richards. This man must have the heart of a Lion and is a constant inspiration to his teammates. Charlie Cunial worked like a trojan with hand and feet, and like Payne and Dean Simpson broke up numerous attacks with some high marking. Alex Page, Bailey Morrissey and James Toscan played their prominent part in the forward line, and Henry Delves, who experienced ill luck with his goal kicking on no more than one occasion, skilfully led the line. Taine Moraschi also played his part splendidly, and his last quarter goal was worth going a long way to see.
The sad and sorry Tigers were well served by Jock Cornell, Shaun Flanigan and Dylan Morton in defence, but the forward line as a whole was ragged and lacking finishing power. It is said that all good things must come to an end, so it is Finis for the mighty Wagga Tigers in the Riverina League competition for this season, at least. 23/08/23.
DREYER BACKING HIS SWANS TO BOUNCE BACK INTO A TOP-THREE SPOT - By Jimmy Meiklejohn
GRIFITH coach Greg Dreyer is backing the Swans to put a tough month behind them as they look to secure a top three spot.
The Swans host Wagga Tigers on Saturday in what is a crucial match for both sides as the result will have massive finals ramifications.
A spot in the top three is potentially available for both sides while the Tigers need a win to ensure they plays finals football.
The Swans have dropped three out of their last four games however Dreyer is confident they can turn it around this weekend at the Exies Oval. "We had a good chat and haven't been far off the mark," Dreyer said. "We hit the front again there in the last quarter so maybe it's a bit of confidence thing. "It's been a tough six weeks I think but we've had a pretty good week and had a good chat about what's ahead of us."
The Swans look likely to welcome back key defender Alec McCormick for the important clash against the Tigers after he missed Griffith's loss on the weekend to Collingullie-Glenfield Park. McCormick missed the contest with a slight knee injury however Dreyer believed that he should be right to go for Saturday's clash.
Dreyer also believed that Taine Moraschi would be returning for the clash which will provide the Swans with a big boost. Moraschi has performed strongly for GWS Giants in the VFL over the past couple of weeks and Dreyer was looking forward to hopefully having him back in the side this weekend.
Best case scenario for the Swans would see them finish third and face either Turvey Park or Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong in the first week of the Riverina League finals. However, if results don't go their way they will find themselves playing in an elimination final at Robertson Oval against either Tigers, Coolamon or the Demons. (The Daily Advertiser - Friday August 18, 2023).
SWANS FINALS FINISHING POSITION UNCLEAR - By "The Man on the Fence"
YES, we were well and truly beaten at Collingullie last Saturday by a team desperate in need of points - a young side similar to ours, full of enthusiasm, quicker to the ball, and quicker in the tackle and adapted themselves to the Crossroads ground much better.
Perhaps in fairness to our boys, they tried to play football on a ground that did not suit. To play football on a ground that is a bit hard and uneven will not be used as an excuse as players must adapt themselves to the conditions of the field on which they play. Meeting the ball and first-time passing should have been the method but this was not so, and we paid the penalty. The result was very disheartening to me, but looking back on that match, I will not blame any of our players for the defeat.
Watching the Under 17.5 and Reserves sides last Saturday gave me the feeling of satisfaction that we have in our youngsters, players who will wear the Swan's colours with credit. I understand these young boys are showing great improvement and progress. One by one, they will eventually earn a place in the senior side, and again, it will be the case of patience playing a great part in their footy journey.
This Saturday afternoon, Wagga Tigers visit us in the final league match of the home and away season, and we give a warm welcome to their players and supporters. Tigers have always put up a good show when visiting the Griffith Exies Oval, and we look forward to this match which we hope will be full entertainment for our supporters. On their visit to us last season, the match ended in a 6-point win for our Swans. A win for Griffith means we finish in third place and a qualifying final at Narrandera Sportsgound but a win for Wagga drops us back to either fourth or fifth place and into a sudden death elimination final at Robertson Oval. 16/08/23'
INJURY FORCES DANIEL TO HANG UP THE BOOTS - By Jimmy Meiklejohn
GRIFFITH assistant coach Sam Daniel has retired with immediate effect. Daniel injured his knee in the Swans' loss to Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong and after receiving scans late last week he had his worst fears confirmed. "My playing days are over," Daniel said.
"I'm retiring immediately, I've got a torn ACL, torn PCL and a torn calf just to throw on top of there. "There's no rush to get surgery because I won't be coming back to footy. "I did it 10 years ago in my other knee and it's hard enough to come back when you are 22 let alone now so that's it for my playing days." It's a devastating finish for Daniel who will now have to sit out the Swans' upcoming finals campaign where they are likely to be a top contender for this year's premiership.
Daniel said it was disappointing to be missing out but believed that he has come to terms with the news better than what he'd anticipated.
I don't know if it's a bit of age or that I'm still assistant coach, so I'm still involved in some aspect. "I'm handling it a bit better than I thought I would but maybe it hasn't hit me yet.
"We've still got a very good opportunity to win it and hopefully it's a Bob Murphy situation like when the Bulldogs won it."
Daniel has enjoyed taking on the assistant coaching role and even got the opportunity to be stand-in coach for three games. With his playing days now set to be behind him, Daniel confirmed that coaching would be something that he would definitely look more to get involved in.
"It's something that I really enjoy," he said. "I really enjoy watching particularly the younger kids that come through around 19 to 20 into first grade, helping them develop and seeing the results of that is something that I really enjoy. "Coaching is something that I will definitely pursue if given the opportunity I guess."
Daniel played a total of 106 senior games for the Swans and noted there was a couple of highlights that clearly stood out.
"Down here certainly those two grand finals that we got to," he said. "It still probably burns me that we didn't win at least one and then probably the last three years having a different playing group as it really invigorated my love for footy again.
"Just coming through with different groups and watching them turn into really talented footballers has been awesome. "Then the 2012 NEAFL flag with Queanbeyan sits right at the top I'd say."
Daniel was hoping his injury would provide the group with a bit of inspiration and he was hopeful that they would make the most of the opportunity presented to them. "I hope our boys I guess use it and don't take this year for granted and the opportunity we've got," he said.
"You're playing career goes very quickly so I hope they just use it to try and get the best out of themselves and have a real crack this year. "I've been here for nine years and played in some real good football sides and I'm going to retire without a flag for Griffith. "I had opportunities, and we didn't take them, so I just want them to realise how hard it is to do, and you really have to get the most out of yourself to win those flags."
Daniel's retirement means that only six members of the 2019 Griffith grand final side remain in Jack Rowston, James Toscan, Charlie Cunial, Nathan Richards, Kahlan Spencer and Daniel Peruzzi. (The Daily Advertiser - Thursday August 10, 2023).
A SEASON OF UPS AND DOWNS FOOTBALL - By "The Man on the Fence"
THE 79-point win at Exies Oval last Saturday made our Griffith Swans prospects of finishing the regular season in third place considerably brighter, aided by the result at Kindra Park, although we must frankly admit at this point that there are clubs better placed than us.
Narrandera could only be described as a team of battlers, and in consequence the game, after the opening half hour, proved to be of the ordinary type. The home supporters who stayed and watched the game had a long period of excitement concentrated in the last twenty minutes when our boys put on seven goals. To be quite frank the undermanned Eagles had been outplayed throughout the game.
An item of interest that gives some idea of the ups and downs of football fortune may be gained from a study of certain clubs in the Riverina League. Former South-West League clubs for instance, Turvey Park who once had thoughts of joining the Farrer League ten years ago; today they are now at the head of the league table. Leeton Whitton, a few years back gained the 2017 RFL premiership and were 2020 Riverina Championship's runners-up, but are now well down the course, while the once powerful Narrandera Imperial, now at the foot of the chart and in deep trouble, were RFL premiers in 2012. Griffith Swans, who escaped relegation by the skin of their teeth back in 2010, gradually climbed up the ladder to be runners-up in 2018 and 2019. After two seasons in the wilderness post COVID-19 pandemic, have topped the chart for a week in the middle part of the current season, and for an unlucky sequence of losses might still be on top.
On Saturday next, our return match at Collingullie is down for decision. The Crossroads Oval has seldom proved a lucky one for Griffith, but we must make every effort to change the luck, otherwise we could say tallyho to our double chance hopes. I think by time next Sunday result at Ganmain Sportsground comes to hand we will have some sort of indication as to real position of the final five league places will be. 9/8/23.
SWANS WANT STRONG RESPONSE AGAINST EAGLES - By Jimmy Meiklejohn
GRIFFITH will look to respond strongly this weekend after suffering back-to-back defeats which has seen the Swans drop to fourth on the Riverina League ladder. The Swans host Narrandera this weekend at Exies Oval and will have Greg Dreyer back at the helm after serving his three-game suspension.
With only three rounds to go until finals, Dreyer said it was important to get back to business against the Eagles. "It's another important game," he said. "It seems like every week you've got to really turn up which has been great. "The competition is strong and close, so we've got to get ourselves building now after that bit of a hiccup with the two losses and we want a bit of momentum.
"We've got to play well, and they'll be tough Narrandera even though they haven't won a game. "They've got some classy players and we want to bounce back after two losses we've had in a row. "We need to have the right attitude, turn up and be consistent this week."
Despite going down to Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong and Coolamon, Dreyer was relatively pleased with the performance put forward and believed the Swans weren't too far off the mark. "We hit the front against Ganmain and got back to even against Coolamon," he said. "So, we were playing okay and obviously you go away and have a review and there's things we aren't happy with. "But I don't think we are two far off it to be honest and they are two very good sides mind you."
The Swans were forced to play out the majority of the contest against the Lions with only two players on the bench following a knee injury to stand-in coach Sam Daniel. Dreyer was unsure of the extent of the damage but said the club would have more of an idea later in the week. "He's hurt it and done a good job of it, it's quite swollen and I think he's got a scan on Thursday to see the extent. "The initial consultation with the doctor was that it was not structural so it might not be too bad. "But who knows as there is a lot of swelling so we really don't know the extent until he has his scan and gets the results."
The Swans will finish off the regular season with games against Collingullie-Glenfield Park and Wagga Tigers following the clash with the Eagles. Despite slipping to fourth for the time-being, Dreyer said the Swans were still determined to do everything in their power to push for a top-three finish and a crucial double chance.
"We still want to make top three and if we win all three of our games it probably puts us in that position."
(The Daily Advertiser - Thursday August 3, 2023).
FINAL THREE SPOT STILL UP FOR GRABS - By "The Man on the Fence"
THE visit of Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong was a match in which again the Lions Team appeared to be keeping to the tradition of pulling out their best when visiting Griffith's Exies Oval. We must be frank and honest by stating herein that the form shown by our Griffith Swans side in the first half was not good enough although our defence came through a gruelling period in the first term when, Matt Hamblin, their star player, appeared troublesome to our on-ball brigade.
There was no doubt Ganmain were the better side in the first half and deserved their lead at the main interval.
No one knows better than a player or players themselves, when they are not having a good match, and as pointed out to them at half-time.
This the boys put into operation to the word when they slammed on five goals in twelve minutes.
The first goal of the third term by Kahlan Spencer and four more goals followed, put us in a very optimistic mood.
At this point, we appeared we were in for a good win, but unfortunately the visitors had other ideas, steadied their ship in the final term and eventually ran out 13-point winners.
Our chance for minor premier now hangs on a spider's web but the League is still wide open, and if we can close the gap between the leaders Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong and Turvey Park, third placed Coolamon Rovers and ourselves during the next few matches, I am confident we will be challenging the leaders around finals time.
We receive our old friends from Narrandera Imperial this Saturday afternoon, and give a cordial welcome to their committee, players and supporters. Shaun Brooker who has coached the club for the past two seasons, will be remembered as the co-coach of their last RFL premiership team in 2012 and is still doing a grand job in that capacity. 02/08/23
SWANS TURNING PINK FOR CAUSE - By Liam Warren
THE Griffith Swans will turn pink this weekend in support of the Griffith Breast Cancer Support Group.
The Swans will host their annual Pink Day when they play host to Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong at Exies Oval on Saturday, with funds being raised on the day for the Griffith Breast Cancer Support Group.
It is a cause that hits close home for Swans committee member Joel Spencer. "There are a few people at the club who have gone through breast cancer," she said. "I was pretty lucky because they found mine early, so I didn't have too much to do with the support group.
But between the Support Group, Can Assist, and the McGrath Foundation, they can all benefit from days like this. It's awesome."
Both the first grader footballers and A Grade netball will turn pink this weekend with the match-worn dresses and jumpers to be auctioned off after the game. There will also be raffles during the day with a grand prize of one-night accommodation at The Gem and a $200 voucher for dinner at The Bull & Bell.
It wasn't just for the senior club getting involved with Swans junior sides also playing on Saturday and will be having a pink-themed dress-up day with donation boxes around the ground.
All the senior footballers and netballers with be sporting pink socks, with all the donations going towards the support group. The action will get underway at Exies Oval with the Swans under 15's side facing off at 9am before the senior club sides take centre stage. (The Area News - Friday July 28, 2023).
SWANS OUT TO BOUNCE BACK AGAINST LIONS - By Jimmy Meiklejohn
GRIFFITH will look to bounce back strongly this weekend as they host Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong at Exies Oval.
After entering round 14 in top spot, a 23-point loss to Coolamon saw the Swans drop to third on the Riverina League ladder.
With so little separating the top few sides, Swans' stand-in coach Sam Daniel knew the importance of getting back in the winners list on Saturday against the Lions. "You say the same thing every week that you need to win this weekend," Daniel said. "It's certainly no different this weekend and obviously Ganmain are flying, and they are now on top. "So, it's another huge game but it's been that way all season."
The Swans handed the Lions a rare 65-point loss at Ganmain Sportsground when the two sides met back in round two, however Daniel was well aware Griffith would welcome a completely different Lions outfit to Exies Oval this weekend. "I think it will be a vastly different side to what we played early on," he said. "Ganmain have played the same way for 10 years as they're hard at the footy, skilled and got really good marking options so we are expecting a really tough contest on this weekend.
One of these marking options is Lions' captain Ben Walsh who has enjoyed a successful two-week stint up forward which has seen him kick 13 goals. Jacob Olsson will return from suspension to face the Swans and it'll be interesting to see how the Lions line up on Saturday.
The Swans' back six have been outstanding this year and Daniel knew they would have to be at their best to nullify the influence of the pair.
"We will certainly have plans. But we will have to wait and see how they line up as well," he said. "Obviously Ben Walsh is a star of the competition and probably just as dangerous in the back line as he is forward so we will certainly have to come prepared."
The loss to the Hoppers over the weekend was the second time that the Swans have gone down to Coolamon this year.
Coolamon are the only side that Griffith have not defeated this season and despite their 2-0 record Daniel dismissed the thought that they were the bogey side. "No, I don't think so," he said.
Daniel described the game against the Hoppers as finals like and said that the experience of contests like that were invaluable for the young Swans' side. "We're a core group over the last two or three years that haven't experienced what finals are like," he said.
"To have this three-week block is invaluable for our young guys to get the taste of what it's going to be like, providing we make it of course. "We are only six points from being out but that's finals as well and you go into the weekend with that level of pressure and expectation.
"So, to continually do that over the next few weeks will hold our group in good stead." (The Daily Advertiser - Wednesday July 26, 2023).
SWANS GO DOWN AT KINDRA PARK SO WHAT? - By "The Man on the Fence"
SINCE my last notes things have gone a bit haywire, and my own difficulty, quite frankly, is to decide just what line to take about what has happened. Probably you followers of the club feel much the same about it and it won't help you a great deal to say that the defeat at Kindra Park, Coolamon were as big a disappointment to me as they were to you.
We could, of course, get out of it by pointing out that, one week ago, when our Griffith Swans team was riding on crest of the wave to top spot on the Riverina League ladder, we carefully refused to be swept into any fancy forecast. But we can hardly dodge the issue that way without accepting the alternative of "letting results speak for themselves."
And if we are to take the loss of four points and defeat at face value, this result would have those shouting out aloud that "the Swans have had it." That far, however, we are not prepared to go, not yet at any rate.
Agreed, the last result take some explaining away. In fact, we have no intention of trying to find excuses that could completely explain a 23-point margin on the wrong side in one match. But before going into a post-mortem on what actually did happen in this game, let us try to appraise the situation as it stands now.
Admitted the prospects are not nearly so bright as they were, but at the moment the position is not yet hopeless, far from it. Discounting games to play which have to be won before they count as points there are only eight points now between the top six clubs. And two of these Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong and Wagga Tigers, and the win-less Narrandera Imperial have all to come to Exies Oval.
Normally a club with premiership aspirations cannot afford to lose more than three or four games in a season, but this year, with seven clubs trying to cut each other out, the margin may be wider. We have lost three games, and a draw so far. We may still have a bit to spare, but with visit to Collingullie-Glenfield Park to be faced, on current form we are pretty near the bare margin. So, it all depends, as I see it, on what happens in the next four games or so. 25/07/23
RIGHT DECISION TO SIGN WITH GRIFFITH, SAYS McCORMICK - By Jimmy Meiklejohn
GRIFFITH'S Alec McCormick is having a solid first year in the Riverina League and admitted that he's enjoyed the change of scenery at the Swans. McCormick was one of four players from Queanbeyan to sign with the Swans for this season and admitted it's a move he feels was the right one. "Yeah I'm loving it," McCormick said. "It's always a bit nerve-racking going somewhere new and trying something different.
"I'd been at Queanbeyan my whole life so it wasn't as easy decision to make, but I think I made the right one. "I'm really enjoying my time as are the other boys and it's a nice change."
A victory over Turvey Park last weekend saw the Swans jump to first on the Riverina League ladder which is a vast improvement on their 2022 season. McCormick believed that the Swans had both exceeded and not exceeded his expectations leading into the season. "Yes, you could say that, but then again no," he said. "I knew a few of the boys and then I knew what we could bring and there were some boys coming back from representative stuff. "So I thought we could have a really good shot at it."
Griffith head to Kindra Park this weekend to face Coolamon which gives the Swans a chance to rectify the Hoppers back in round seven.
An astonishing 61-turnovers from the Swans that day resulted in the Hoppers grabbing a 33-point win at Exies Oval and McCormick confirmed the side was keen to make amends. "The team has been very defence driven," he said. "That was something that let us down the first time we played them. "But we've made a few tweaks and the coaches have got stuck into the boys about defence."
The Hoppers kicked 12.10 (82) in that contest which has been the biggest score the Swans have conceded so far this season. Griffith have actually conceded the fewest points of any Riverina League side this season which is a terrific accolade for the Swans back six.
McCormick has played a key part of that success at centre-half-back and admitted it didn't take him long at all to gel with the other defenders at the Swans. "It was sort of instant," he said. "I met the boys and probably half a game of footy was all it took us to get a bit of cohesion. "We are super comfortable together and it feels like we have been playing together for a long time."
The Swans have arguably been the most consistent side this season however McCormick believes there is still room for improvement. "I think we can always improve," he said. "But for us it's about closing the gap between our best and our worst. All teams have lapses and it is just about minimising the mistakes." (The Daily Advertiser - Friday July 21, 20213).
STICKING WITH SATURDAY - By Matt Malone
THE Riverina League grand final will remain on a Saturday. AFL Riverina (alias Wagga) made the decision to maintain a Saturday grand final for the Riverina League decider this season, despite dwindling crowd numbers in recent years. The AFL Riverina board considered a switch back to Sunday, but the grand final would have clashed with other major sporting events no matter what day it was held.
It will remain a clash with the popular Ag Races at Murrumbidgee Turf Club in Wagga, an event that has drawn crowds of around 6000 people.
But a shift to Sunday would have meant going head-to-head with the Group Nine grand final in Wagga.
AFL Riverina settled on Saturday, September 16, with the grand final to be again held at Narrandera Sportsground.
AFL Riverina chairman Michael Irons said club support of a Saturday grand final was the major factor behind the decision.
"The indications from clubs were that Saturday was preferred," Irons said. "Obviously there is potential clashes on both days so that was unavoidable. "We haven't taken the opportunity to review the data from previous years to consider the Saturday v Sunday but we needed to move forward with a decision and with the clubs preferring Saturday we've gone ahead with that."
Narrandera Sportsground will be the host venue of majority of Riverina League finals. The elimination final and preliminary final, both Sunday games will be held at Robertson Oval, Wagga. The remainder have been pencilled in for Narrandera.
Last year's grand final crowd was the lowest in 16 years and gate figures have been low for some time. Irons said AFL Riverina will review the Riverina League grand final at season's end. "We'll take the opportunity this off-season to review that and discuss with clubs," he said. (The Daily Advertiser - Wednesday July 19, 2023).
TOP OF THE TABLE SWANS - By "The Man on the Fence"
IN the Riverina Football League I doubt if there has been a season with so little to choose between the majority of the teams. Whether it be Griffith, Turvey Park, Coolamon Rovers, Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong, Wagga Tigers, Collingullie-Glenfield Park, or even Mangoplah-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes, the unlucky ones to miss out will have cause to feel that the fates have been particularly severe.
The most surprising leap in the League this season is that of our own Griffith Swans. It is difficult to realise that only last year we were third from bottom and where I should think, worried about our immediate future. Where are we now? We find ourselves first on the table, and if it was possible, could easily finish even higher. From match to match the situation from top to the seventh team of the League can alter so much that it is very hard to forecast who will be the five teams to contest the final series.
The tragedy of the season is without doubt the performance of Leeton-Whitton and Narrandera Imperial.
In recent seasons they have fallen on hard times, and I am afraid they will find it a very difficult task to regain the prominent position that their clubs have held in football over a long period. So, beware clubs on western end of the League, The Grim Reaper, not the one depicted as a berobed skeleton wielding a scythe but them from the eastern end of the League are circling once again. I could say they will be trying to sever a club or two for their own well-being!
Moving on to Our Swans top of the table clash with Turvey Park last Saturday afternoon, proved a very entertaining and encouraging game. It was probably one of the best all-round displays of the boys this season, with perhaps the Mangoplah game excepted. All the players worked very hard, and the result was in balance which kept supporters on tender-hooks, until the final siren. 19/07/23
COACH BAN - By Jimmy Meiklejohn
GRIFFITH coach Greg Dreyer has been handed down a three-week suspension by AFL Riverina tribunal.
Dreyer was found guilty of umpire abuse after engaging with an official (umpire Coggin) during the third term of the Swans' nine-point win against Mangoplah-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes on Saturday.
After first getting shown a white card, Dreyer was then shown a red as per Coaching Box Card System that was introduced across all AFL NSW-ACT Leagues this season.
It is a costly blow for the second-placed Swans who will now be without Dreyer for the important run of games that include Turvey Park, Coolamon and Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong.
Griffith president Paul Rogerson said the club was accepting of the tribunals findings and that they were hoping to move forward from the incident. "As a club we are just really keen to move on from Saturday's incident," Rogerson said. "We don't condone umpire abuse at all as a club and Greg is really remorseful for his actions on Saturday.
"We are really comfortable with the way the tribunal was handled and we are looking forward to Sam Daniel stepping up over the next three weeks in Greg's absence."
Assistant coach Sam Daniel has been confirmed to step up in the role over the next three weeks and Rogerson confirmed he would have some assistance to help him in the position.
"He will have some extra assistance off the field," he said. "The other assistant coaches will step up off the field but Sam will be obviously stepping into the head coaching role over the next three weeks in Greg's absence."
As part of the suspension Dreyer cannot enter the coaches box or Swans rooms pre or post-game however is still over to attend games in a non-official role.
Rogerson confirmed that Dreyer would continue to be in attendance over the next couple of weeks but would be watching from afar. "Greg will certainly be attending the games in a non-official capacity and watching from the sidelines, " he said. Dreyer will be able to retake the reins in round 16. (The Daily Advertiser - Friday July 14, 2023).
A MATCH TO BE REMEMBERED - By "The Man on the Fence"
"ONE of the classics of the season" was the verdict of the majority who attended the Mangoplah Sportsground last Saturday, and I am quite in agreement. It was certainly a match to be remembered for all those missed scoring chances, mainly coming from our boys in the third term. Otherwise, it was a game in which all 42 players on the day revelled in overcast and windy weather conditions, played good football and fought for the whole 100 minutes. Mangoplah Goannas played well, in fact, as well as any team we have met this season.
I do not wish to single out any Griffith player for special praise, as from Charlie Cunial in fullback to Henry Delves at full-forward, they played as a team inspired. Bailey Morrissey certainly confirmed that he is a player of great promise by his all-round display and his cleverly taken goals. To this young player great credit is due to the fact that he has adapted himself to Australian Rules football in such a short space of time. Just over five years ago, he was starring at the round ball code in the Griffith district before switching to the Sherrin ball.
While it is far too early to talk of final ladder placings, but with the season a half on its way, our boys have shown grand results. Although we have not the best home record (this belongs to Turvey Park), we have gained more points on visits to other grounds than any other club.
It is the fighting spirit of our boys that has put us in the premiership hunt and with the good support they receive from supporters, etc., I am confident we will be thereabout at the kill.
This Saturday afternoon we welcome our friends from Turvey Park and trust a good game is witnessed. The visit of the Bulldogs will give all in attendance a chance to see the Riverina Football League leaders in action and will no doubt give our Swans a hard game. 12/07/23
GRIFFITH SWANS FLY HOME TO BEAT MANGOPLAH-CUE 11.13 (79) TO 11.4 (70)
GRIFFITH PREPARE FOR TOUGH MONTH AHEAD - By Jimmy Meiklejohn
GRIFFITH is gearing up for a tough month ahead that all begins with a trip to face Mangoplah-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes this weekend. The Swans have soared up the Riverina Football League ladder in 2023 and currently sit third after a successful opening half of the season.
However the next month will determine just how strong their premiership credentials are with games against Goannas (away), Turvey Park (home), Coolamon (away) and Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong (home).
Griffith coach Greg Dreyer said his side was looking forward to the challenge ahead of them and believed how they performed would determine whether they consolidate a top three finish. "It's going to be exciting," Dreyer said. "We try and break the season down into blocks and we've got the top four in the next month so that's what we are concentrating on. "Playing well each week then repeat onto the next one and see how we come out of it. "We are trying to cement a top three spot, so this will tell us well and truly."
The Swans and Goannas had a draw when the two sides clashed back in round one and Dreyer was predicting a tough challenge this weekend at Mangoplah Sportsground. "They'd be disappointed after that loss last week and I feel they're a top five side so they'll respond," he said.
"We've got to be on in all aspects and you've got to defend against these sides and can't let them get a run on. "Our defensive play is important, and you've also got to be able to use it well as last time we played them it was a draw and I think we kicked 6.11. "This time of year, teams are looking for momentum into finals, so you've got to be consistent across all aspects of your game."
The Swans look likely to be boosted by the return of assistant coach Sam Daniel and young midfielder Kahlan Spencer who both missed the win against Leeton-Whitton back in round 10.
Dreyer thought Spencer was more than likely right to return against the Goannas while Daniel would undergo a fitness test later in the week. (The Daily Advertiser - Thursday July 6, 2023).
SWANS OUT OF TOWN FOR THE WEEKEND - By "The Man on the Fence"
OUR Griffith Swans are now entering upon a trying time and, probably by end of the month we shall have a pretty good idea as our top three finals ambitions will be realised or not. Certainly, our boys are playing consistent football at the moment, and the last three victories must be acknowledged as excellent performances. Against Leeton-Whitton, at home before the bye, the result was never in doubt, although we must frankly admit that the opposition can only be described as a moderate side, and in consequence the game, after the opening half, proved to be of the ordinary type. It must be remembered, however, that the windy conditions were all against accurate football, yet again our Swans generally showed themselves to be the more superior and talented side.
On Saturday next, our Swans will be "out of town" for the weekend for the return match against Mangoplah-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes. The Goannas ground has not always proved a lucky one for Griffith, four wins from their last twenty encounters, but we must make every effort to change the luck otherwise good-bye to our minor premiers hopes. I think by the time next Saturday evening we will have some sort of indication as to the real premiership favourites. At the moment the outlook is still rather obscure. 05/07/23
ACTION AT EXIES OVAL FROM GRIFFITH SWANS 18.16 (124) - 2.2 (14) VICTORY OVER LEETON-WHITTON CROWS
SWANS FACE RIVALS - By Liam Warren
THE Griffith Swans will look to head into their bye off the back of three straight wins when they take on Leeton-Whitton in the Western Derby at Exies Oval. The Swans have re-found their form in recent weeks after back-to-back defeats and will want to head into their final seven games of the season with momentum. "We had that loss to Turvey and then Coolamon, but I have been talking to them about their consistency because this is the hard time of year when it gets colder," Swans coach Greg Dreyer said.
Have Leeton and then the bye, and it's about trying to build a bit of momentum over the last seven games."
It is shaping up as a close contest with the Swans, who sit in second, and the sixth placed Mangoplah-CUE are separated by just four points heading into the second half, and Dreyer knows his side can't afford to take any game lightly. "When you consider that sixth place is only a win behind, it is going to be very tough," he said. "Very happy with the first half of the year to go through with just two losses and a draw."
One of the keys to their strong final half of the season has been Rhys Pollock, who sits atop the Player of the Year count for the Riverina Football League. Pollock polled four votes in Griffith's win over Wagga Tigers at Robertson Oval on Saturday, and it was enough for him to get back in front by three votes ahead of Tigers' Jock Cornell.
Dreyer has been impressed by not only how Pollock, but the rest of the recruits have fitted in at the club. "All the boys that have come into the group have been no trouble at all, they are all good blokes and good players as well," he said. "They get on well with everybody, so it has been great to see how they have settled in."
While the last meeting between the two sides resulted in a one-sided scoreline, Dreyer isn't expecting a similar result this weekend. "That was a wet and windy day, and we probably got on top of them early, but I don't expect that to be the case this time round," he said. "They are a reasonable side, and they will be looking to perform well against us. (The Area News - Friday June 23, 2023).'
A RECORD TO BE PROUD OF - By "The Man on the Fence"
AFTER hosting Collingullie-Glenfield Park two weeks ago, Our Swans made it two wins in a row when they put up a sparkling show at Robertson Oval against Wagga Tigers last Saturday, and by the win, have jumped up to second place on the Riverina League ladder. Our points for and against is surprisingly good. No Club, have fewer points scored against them and no other Club have scored more points than the Swans. A record to be proud of.
Who can tell, points average may play a most important part in the team's final five placing, and I am certain that our defence will see to it that on their side of the fence the barrier is up. It would be invidious of me to select any particular player for special praise, and as it was a great all-round teamwork, and the wonderful team spirit which won us the game.
While nothing but praise can be given to our players, I know the boys will not mind me mentioning Henry Delves. This player had a very good game despite the fact he made many blunders when shooting for goal, but not once did I hear any supporters make any adverse criticism. Keep up your good work supporters.
On Saturday, we welcome the Players and Supporters of Leeton-Whitton Crows to Exies Oval. It's been a hugely frustrating season for our near Neighbour's but to sum up their campaign so far it all comes down from losing top players without replacing them. In times when coaches come and go constantly, it's quite refreshing that the Crows have continued to keep faith with coach Tom Groves. He's got the best out failing players two years ago and he's doing the same now with a very young lot. 22/06/23.
SWANS TAME TIGERS AT ROBERTSON OVAL ON A SATURDAY DEVOID OF HOME SUPPORT
BE PREPARED FOR OUR SWANS VISIT TO ROBERTSON OVAL - By "The Man on the Fence"
ON Saturday next, our Griffith Swans make the trip to Robertson Oval to play Wagga Tigers which will mark halfway of the regular Riverina FNL season. From recollection I have always found it to be a difficult place to go at this stage of the season when we are trying to get a result.
If you are looking for a ground with plenty of cover, seating and car parking, "Robbo" would not be the place to visit.
The main grandstand built above the club offices, dressing rooms offers quite a good view of the action. Admission to the grandstand is free, which is just as well as there is no further cover for spectators. Holds about 200 and so on a wet day you should be able to remain dry.
Nowadays, they are lucky if they get 25 to 50 to their home games so there shouldn't be any problem finding a seat.
There is grass standing embankment which surrounds three-quarters of the ground but with no proper stands at all, it is difficult to imagine how more than 2,000 at the most could possibly get a good view of the game.
There is a well-stocked canteen on the other side of the main stand / dressing rooms, serving a wide range of hot and cold drinks, pies, hot dogs, burgers, snacks and confectionery. There are adequate toilet facilities, and this council owned ground have flood lights, where midweek school games are played. The Tigers club room are spacious enough to swing a cat or two while the bar is highly recommended, it has a good range of local and national beverages. Come on Cob and Pen Swans - it's our time! 15/06/23.
SWANS FEROCITY OFF THE BALL SECURE NETBALL VICTORY - By Liam Warren
THE Griffith Swans have rebounded quickly after their first defeat of the season, coming away with a 45-37 win over Collingullie at Exies Oval.
It was a tight opening before a couple of turnovers forced by the Swans in the mid-court, and defence had them out to a 4-goal lead at the first change. The Swans were again able to make a strong start to the second term, but the Demons fought back hard in the late stages to see the sides locked at 21-all at halftime. The turnovers by their defenders were becoming the signature of the Swans' game as they were able to score points from the breaks to take a five-goal lead into the final break. While it was an even start to the final quarter, the Swans were able to break away one final time to secure a 45-37 win over the Demons.
Coach Jon Munro was pleased with the way her side reacted after losing their first game of the season last weekend to Coolamon.
"It was another tough game, and we knew it would be coming into it," she said. "We had to stay focused and go back to what our strengths are, which is our ball movement. I was pleased to be able to grind that game out and recover. "Last week, we probably dropped off a bit in the second half, so it was nice to be able to maintain throughout.
Munro said her side was focusing on their pressure off the ball as much as they could and was pleased to see that come into practice. "That is the big focus for us, that one-on-one pressure and staying in play as much as possible so that we can force the pressure and the turnover," she said. "We had to work really hard, and I think we did that really well."
Jenna Richards had a strong performance in the shooting circle scoring 32 goals of the Swans' 45 goals, and the Swan's coach continues to be impressed with her consistent improvement. "She has been getting better throughout the season, and I have loved watching her develop," she said. "She's such a strong and dependable player for us."
It was an impressive weekend across the court with yet another clean sweep, the Swans third of the season.
A reserve was able to come away with a 49-25 win over the Demons, which keeps them well and truly in the hunt for a top-three positions, just currently just three points behind Turvey Park. B Grade has stayed just a win behind Turvey Park after 39-16 victory, while the C Graders have maintained their unbeaten start to the season with a 50-17 win. The Under 17s rounded off the day with a 48-9 win to stay equal second. (The Area News - Friday June 9, 2023).
A CLEAN SWEEP AGAINST COLLINGULLIE FOR GRIFFITH ON SAMMY DANIEL 100TH SENIOR GAME AND SWANS LADIES DAY.
SWANS AIM TO FLY - By Allan Wilson
THE Griffith Swans will have a crack at redemption following their loss to the Coolamon Grasshoppers at Griffith on Saturday.
While Griffith managed to kick the first three goals, confidence got the better of them and allowed the Hoppers to swiftly head the side within the first quarter. Things didn't change much from there, with Coolamon remaining in front to finish 82 to 49. Griffith best players were Nathan Richards, Nicholas Conlan, James Girdler, Patrick Payne, Dean Simpson and Taine Moraschi.
Swans coach Greg Dreyer said poor execution and kicking was the key issues on the field for his side, and the team will need to regroup and take on Collingullie with a different attitude this weekend. "We turned the ball over too easily, not necessarily from pressure but from poor execution and bad defence," Dreyer said. "We've had a good chat about this. Our focus will now be on intensity. "Coolamon have had a slow start this season and had several players out on Sunday. They were in a position where they desperately wanted a win. "I think we took them for granted, especially when we started off in front. For some reason we just stopped, and they got ahead.
"This weekend we have everything to do with how we approach the game, which is to treat the opposition like they are a top side."
Dreyer believes the upcoming fixture will be an opportunity for his side to turn things around. "Collingullie are always tough, but they are in a similar situation to what Coolamon were. They haven't had the best start, so they are going to be desperate to stay in touch with the top five," he said. "We need to focus on our abilities - that will be key at training. We need a better approach and if we are going to compete, we need to be consistent each week. (The Area News - Friday June 2, 2023).
SURELY OUR SWANS ARE NOT ON THE SLIDE - By "The Man on the Fence"
SINCE my last notes much has happened in respect to our position on the Riverina League ladder, having dropped from a prominent position with the leaders to 4th. Our Swans top of the ladder clash at Maher Oval with Turvey Park was without doubt a tale of two halves.
There was no doubt Turvey were the better side in the first half and deserved their four-goal lead, but we must be frank and honest by stating herein that the form shown by the boys in the first half was a little below par. The second half was completely different as our Swans shifted up a couple of gears and steamroll their hosts, rattling in nine goals to three leaving them 15 points in front. Turvey looked all at sea with about ten minutes remaining until the result of the game was turned on its head by two umpire clangers. I have always been careful regarding being critical of officials, but in my opinion in this incidence the 'men in white' are not always right.
And now I turn to our match against Coolamon Rovers on Sunday last and with the exception of the first ten minutes of the game Hoppers dominated the play and put up a show of first-class football. Their desperate and fierce first-time tackling tended to put our boys off the style of football that we have been accustomed to lately. On this display against us I am sure that Jake Barrett' Boys will creep up the Ladder.
Our Swans have reached a stage when we must not take things for granted and hopefully our boys are fully aware that every game they play will be of 'win at all costs' atmosphere. And knowing as I do, I am confident that they have the ability and possess the calmness that is so essential for a team to have when fighting for a top five position of the League. (30-05-23)
POLLOCK READY FOR HUGE TEST - By Jimmy Meiklejohn
GRIFFITH will travel to Maher Oval on Saturday looking to get a gauge on exactly where they are in the Riverina League hierarchy. The Swans have been one of the surprise packets through the opening five rounds and look to be one of the main contenders for this years premiership.
Midfielder Rhys Pollock has been the major reason for their early season success and one could argue that he has arguably been the Swans best player alongside ruckman Nathan Richards.
Currently sitting second on the ladder, Pollock said the group was looking forward to taking on Turvey Park on Saturday. "I think there is a fair bit of excitement with a real test this weekend," Pollock said.
"I think it will be a real indication of where we sort of sit as a club with this Turvey Park game and a big 2-3 weeks after that as well. "There is certainly a lot of excitement and we're really looking forward to a big challenge this weekend for sure."
Pollock said there hasn't been any secrets to their great start to the year and instead credited coach Greg Dreyer for implementing an exciting, fast flowing game plan. "I guess we are all just really happy to be playing together," he said. "I think we've gelled together really well and there is obviously a lot of young talent that has come through the Griffith program over the last few years.
"They are all hitting their straps and I think we are just a pretty young team that is playing an exciting brand of football which 'Fifty' (Dreyer) is really encouraging as well."
The Bulldogs have also started the year in good form with their only blemish being a 23-point loss on the road against the Lions. The two teams are playing a similar brand of football this season and Pollock believes that will ensure that Saturday's contest should be a pretty good spectacle. "It seems to be the general consensus that we are playing a similar brand. It should make an excellent game," he said.
Richards has also enjoyed a stellar start to the season and been giving the Swans mids first use of the footy around stoppages. Pollock said Richards isn't shy to boast about his start to the season and added that he has been playing a major part in their early season success.
"If you asked the big fella he'll let you know," he laughed. "But it makes our job a little bit easier when we've got a ruckman like Nath who's extremely good in the ruck craft at gets creative with his taps. It's good to have a big man in the middle that you are quite confident in."
Pollock came across from Queanbeyan over the off-season alongside Alex Page, Dean Simpson and Alex McCormick. He said that they have all enjoyed their first taste of the Riverina League and credited the club for making them feel so welcome which has resulted in the quartet playing some pretty good football.
"It's obviously been really exciting do far," Pollock said. "I guess it's probably been a bit of the unknown in terms of coming from the Canberra comp where you are used to knowing how you are going to go each week. I think we are liking the fact that we haven't got a true indication of how we are going to go and how the comp has started the first five rounds it's still hard to get a bit of a handle on.
But overall, it's very exciting and we're very happy with Griffith so far. I know they've made us comfortable and very welcome at the club and we've gelled well with the team and the boys. It's been a really positive environment to be part of and you're in that kind of environment it starts to reflect on your footy as well."
(The Daily Advertiser - Friday May 19, 2023).
ONE MORE WEEK ON THE ROAD FOR OUR SWANS - by "The Man on the Fence"
THREE games have been played since my last notes have been read by you and still undefeated in both senior and reserve grades. We should all be proud of our performances to date as both teams have shown themselves capable of first-class football.
Our senior Swans are going strongest and while I did not think our boys would lose at Ganmain, but to be quite frank, I never expected victory by 65 points. The game was interesting and evenly fought out. The Lions team appeared to be much heavier than the majority of our boys, with the exception, maybe, of Nathan Richards. Nathan, nevertheless, showed a clean pair of heels of those much lighter and he reminded us he has that football sense which is so often the difference between a star and ordinary player. He proved on game-day that the more work the brain does in this game, the less the legs have to do.
Two weeks on we went to Leeton and gave our best display so far, before a very meagre crowd. The strength of our performance lay in an all-out effort from everyone in the team determined to carry the day. It would be unfair to single out any individual, but I would say how pleased coach "Fifty" Dreyer was with the spirit of all 21 of them.
On Saturday last at the spacious Narrandera Sportsground, we were given quite a good afternoon's sport, and it was a most interesting and thrilling game to watch. Whilst it was nice for our Swans to have collected all four points, the game is the thing, and I think you must agree it was good watching even though the result was probably not what the Imperials wished for.
After four games we are still among the elite of the unbeaten, in contrast to last year. With one more away trip to come, we hope our boys can reproduce their away form at home and give our supporters a treat they deserve. (15-05-23)
SWANS READY FOR DERBY CHALLENGE - by Liam Warren
THE Griffith Swans will be coming into the Western Derby fresh but know they will have to be careful of a Leeton-Whitton side coming into the clash with confidence. The Swans will make the short trip down Irrigation Way looking to continue their undefeated start to the season, but the Crows are coming into the game in search of back-to-back wins, having picked up their first win since 2021.
Coach Greg Dreyer knows his side will need to be ready to face a tough test regardless of the contrasting starts to the season. "Griffith and Leeton love to play each other. They had a good win against Narrandera, and everyone had sort of written them off completely," he said. "We certainly haven't proved anything yet, and Leeton always lift for us. We have had some tense battles over the last couple of years."
There will also be a sense of occasion for the clash with the Crows side set to feature four-time Hawthorn premiership player Grant Birchall. "That should get a decent crowd, and he isn't too long retired," he said. "He will be a very good player. Our forward-line played very well against Ganmain, but he will be a different calibre to anyone they would have gone against."
Dreyer has stressed that his side needs to prepare for this game as they would any other as they hunt for consistent four-quarter footy. "Most of the stuff that we have talked about is how we prepare ourselves, and regardless of who we are playing against, you have to prepare yourselves well," he said.
"It is as much mentally challenging and having the right attitude as it is physically preparing. "We had a lot of lapses in our play last year, so we are really trying to work on our preparation as a whole and playing four-quarters of footy; this is our challenge at the moment."
Off the back of the win over Ganmain, the atmosphere around the group has been good, but Dreyer stressed his side still has work to do. "We have had a good couple of weeks of training, and the vibe around the place has been pretty good," he said.
"To beat Ganmain at Ganmain was a nice reward after the preseason and last couple of years, but its only two games into the season. I think Ganmain losing as they did against Tigers may have given us a better idea of where we are sitting." (The Area News - Friday May 5, 2023).
SWANS END GOANNAS UNBEATEN A GRADE NETBALL RUN - by Tahlia Sinclair
GRIFFITH have handed Mangoplah-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes their first loss in over 12 months.
In a tight round one game, the Swans held on by a goal to win 43-42. Coach Joh Munro said they had their work cut out for them and were pushed to the last second by the 2022 premiers. "It went up and down, we were sitting three or four goals behind most of the game and then we'd come back and get level and then they'd go ahead again," Munro said. "It was just a great, hard-fought tussle from both teams, and we worked very hard at it and were up at the end of the game."
Momentum ebbed and flowed through the game, with turnovers helping each side have runs on the scoreboard. Before the season start Munro spoke with her side about playing four quarters of netball and pushing themselves to the final whistle.
With hopes to see improvements on utilising turnovers and capitalising on their centre passes this season, Swans have started their year responding well to their new coach. "We spoke about the fact Mango have some great defenders, and they love to turn the ball over, so how do we try and minimise their impacts as much as possible," she said. "That required us to do the work and keep the ball nice and short and sharp and low to the ground, and it takes a lot of work and commitment to do that.
"I thought our attack end did that really well, they did a lot of work just bringing the ball down and being really disciplined to then feed it into the goalers." Georgia Fuller had a strong game in wing attack, while Tahlia Quinn provided good pace in the centre in her debut A grade appearance.
Griffith last win over MCUE was in round three, 2021, when they also defeated Goannas by a goal.
Munro said focusing on the game at hand and not giving Mango the win before they took the court. "We were always aware it was going to be a really big challenge, but I was really confident in what we'd done in the preseason and really confident in the girls' implementation of it," she said.
Munro said the round one win has provided them with a solid foundation heading into the season.
It was a strong start to the season for the lower grades as well. The under 17's got the good times rolling with a 42-30 victory and the C Graders were able to keep up the momentum going as they picked up 21-goal victory. B Grade made it three wins from three games to start the day with a 41-27 victory before the Swans A reserve fell to a 43-39 defeat. (The Area News - Friday April 21, 2023).
A DRAW TO START THE SEASON - by "The Man on the Fence"
THE start of RFNL season is safely underway and half a loaf is better than none. If anyone had asked me to forecast this result well never in a million years, would I have selected a draw - our first ever in 60 meetings with Mangoplah.
Last Saturday's well attended game, proved we have the players on the books possessed with talent that will hold us, with the average amount of good luck, in the upper half of the ladder, and naturally we look forward to improving our position in the League Ladder compared with that of last season. It would be unfair to single out any individual, but I would like to say it is with satisfaction that I saw such youngsters as Ollie Bartter, Nicholas Conlan, Mason Rosengreen and Broden Spencer of last season's Under 17's premiership side holding their own against the more experienced players. All concerned can say, a satisfactory start, without being too much optimistic.
The Reserve side played a very good game and came up with four points in the bag. Like so many of these good games, it is hard to single out any particular player, and in this game, all the boys played together as one unit. The young players in the side all did well and if they can keep that form up, then they will be knocking for recognition in the first team. New player Craig Violi, playing his first game of Aussie Rules, unfortunately sustained a fractured ankle and will be out for a week or so, we all wish him a speedy recovery.
The under 17's was, I regret to say, not so hot as far as the result goes, but we saw some interesting football, and even if a good deal of it came from the visitors, let us say thank you to them for their display. In this game some of young players were lacking in experience, and whilst they had the right spirit, it was the lack of experience which told at the end. Nevertheless, on reflection, they did well to hold the strong Goannas team to an 79-point loss. (19-04-23).
GRIFFITH RECRUITS SET TO DEBUT AGAINST GOANNAS - by Jimmy Meiklejohn
GRIFFITH looks set to unleash their four Queanbeyan recruits in their round one clash against Mangoplah-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes this weekend. Swans coach Greg Dreyer confirmed that Rhys Pollock, Alex McCormick, Alex Page, Dean Simpson and the returning Henry Delves from Ainslie should all be right to go against the Goannas.
It has been a long pre-season for the Swans with Dreyer confirming there was a lot of excitement within the group ahead of the clash at Griffith Ex-Servicemen's Oval. "They all trained well last night," Dreyer said. "Everyone's keen and has put in a good pre-season, we are all well and truly ready to go."
The Swans have performed strongly in their trial matches and Dreyer expects that he will have some headaches in the next day or two as he confirms his line-up for round one. "We had a discussion last night but will finalise it on Thursday," he said.
"The Giants boys have got a game over the weekend, and we have got to wait to see who gets picked there. "But other than that, it's just finalising the last couple of final positions."
The Swans are more than likely to have Jay Summers, Taine Moraschi and Patrick Payne miss the clash against the Goannas with the trio expected to be selected for the GWS Giants Academy in the Coates Talent League.
There is a far bit of excitement building following a successful off-season for the club that has included Harry Rowston's debut for the Giants and one of their most successful recruitment periods in recent years.
Despite the excitement, Dreyer confirmed that they were trying to focus on their job at hand and close the gap to the top sides after finishing seventh last year. "We have just gone about our business," he said. "But we had a reasonable finish to the year and that was exciting for supporters. "We then made some good signings and then Harry, but we've just tried to put our heads down and train hard. "We are pretty aware there is still a bit of a gap to close, I think everyone is keen to go but there is a lot of unknowns."
While a lot of attention will be on how the recruits transition into the side, a fair bit of the Swans improvement will come from their junior core.
The Swans will have a number of their under 17 premiership players making their transition to senior football this season while there has also been a number of young players having a great crack in pre-season looking to take their football to the next level in 2023 including Nick Conlan, Jack Rowston, Kahlan Spencer and Sam Foley. (The Daily Advertiser - Thursday April 13, 2023).
NEW HOPES FOR SWANS SUPPORTERS - by "The Man on the Fence"
NEW hopes arise in the hearts of Griffith Swans supporters this season. There is every good reason for those hopes, for there is a feeling of confidence in our Swans camp. The first reason for this was displayed during our two trial matches, when most of the newcomers were on view. They gave a good impression, and the general opinion is with their available resources the Club Executive have done a good stroke of work during the close season. Of course, it is much too early to clinch on to an eighteen which will produce that consistent form necessary to emerge from one of the bottom end League sides where our boys have been members for the past two seasons.
Changes in the composition of the side will bound to come, and we should not be too concerned about them, for I can never recollect when our Swans had the material for such a good reserve side. No team can progress unless they have that standby, for every position in the senior side should be duplicated and, if at all possible, triplicated.
For this our first match of the season we welcome old friends in Mangoplah-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes to the Exies Oval. Like other clubs in the League, they have undergone many changes. Under practically a new directorate, like ourselves, they have few players who did service with them in pre-covid days, and with their first-ever RFL premiership in view they have got together quite a useful number of players. However, we shall be able to get a better line on their future hopes by their performance and ours after the opening round is played. (11-4-23).
GIANTS TO ROLL DICE WITH FIRST ROUND PICK
GREATER Western Sydney will unveil one of their prized first-round draft picks when academy graduate Harry Rowston makes his AFL debut against West Coast tomorrow at Optus Stadium.
Originally from Griffith in southern NSW, Rowston was at the centre of bold play from Sydney at last November's national draft before joining the Giants.
The Swans had a pick swap proposal rejected by their Harbour City rivals as they sought to swoop in to snatch Rowston, and then make a bid on him.
The bid was immediately matched by GWS, who had first call on Rowston and were eager to secure the prolific midfielder, who spent years in their junior academy.
"It was pretty exciting," Rowston recalled on Friday. "The Giants told me they were going to match the bid whenever it came. "It took a little longer than I was hoping, and I got a little bit nervous, but it was absolutely surreal."
At pick 16 overall, Rowston was one of five Giants selections in the first two rounds after they took key forward Aaron Cadman at No. 1.
Cadman has also been earmarked for an early-season debut but is yet to force his way into the GWS forward line, Harry Himmelberg, Jesse Hogan and Jake Riccardi sitting above him in the pecking order.
Rowston became the first Giants player to debut under new coach Adam Kingsley, who led GWS to victory over Adelaide in his first game at the helm.
"I haven't slept all week," Rowston said, having been told of his selection by captain Toby Greene at Friday's team selection. "To finally know, I couldn't be happier."
Kingsley hopes to keep his unbeaten start alive against West Coast at Optus Stadium on Sunday.
(The West Australian - Saturday March 25, 2023)
NSW Australian Football
SWANS' RECRUITS IMPRESS IN OPENING TRIAL - by Matt Malone
GRIFFITH coach Greg Dreyer believes the Swans have been "lucky" with the quartet of Queanbeyan footballers that have headed to the club. Griffith got their first look at their recruits under match conditions at Gumly Oval on Saturday in a pre-season trial game against East Wagga-Kooringal.
The Swans finished the game full of running to win by about four goals.
Rhys Pollock, coming off a best-on-ground performance in the AFL Canberra final, led the charge.
"The recruits we've got this year are really professional," Dreyer said. "They've got themselves fit and they're doing all the right things, they're a good bunch of blokes. "I think they've had a bit of luck there, I think they're going to be really good for us this year."
With a number of players unavailable with cricket and Giants commitments, the Canberra recruits shone on Saturday. Talented youngster Kahlan Spencer also impressed, as did James Girdler and James Toscan.
"I was pretty happy actually. It's been a long pre-season, we don't start until the 15th so it's nice to get a game in," he said. "I don't know what East Wagga were like, but I know this time last year they really gave us a good flogging last year. The fact we could complete a bit this year, it was a good hit-out."
Griffith have been training since December and Dreyer was happy to see that shine through against the Hawks. "We did two nights in December and three nights since January," he said.
"I think that helped us against East Wagga because we kicked five goals to one in the last quarter."
The Griffith cricket season does not finish until April 1 so with that in mind, the Swans will play their second and final trial game against Hay on Sunday, April 2.
Dreyer is happy with how training has come together at Griffith since the club's most successful recruitment campaign in a number of years. "We're in a good spot with numbers. Socially, things have been pretty good, and I see the Canberra boys are turning up in the right condition and frame of mind," he said.
"We've got a bit of a gap to catch up, so I have to say but we're quietly confident we can win some games." (The Daily Advertiser - Tuesday March 21, 2023).