Came from: Queanbeyan Went to: Barooga
First game: 8 April 2000 Last game: 21 Sept 2003
Appearances: 75 Goals: 16
League Rep: 3 Premiership: 2003
Once you taste success, you want more of it - O'Dwyer
A thirty one year premiership drought was a key factor in the decision of Jon O'Dwyer to take on the reigns of the Griffith Swans as senior coach for the next three seasons.
"The club hasn't enjoyed a lot of success over the years and I thought it would be a real challenge in my football career to try and lift the club," the affable 28-year-old said.
"The club has a lot of juniors with great potential and with the right recruiting there is no reason why we can't really improve over the next three years."
Next year will be O'Dwyers first senior coaching appointment, having coached the Queanbeyan under 18 side this season as well as an assistant position with Barooga in 1995.
O'Dwyer said he hoped to bring some of the Queanbeyan professionalism to Griffith.
"Queanbeyan was such a professional club, we won the flag this year because every player showed a bit of heart and was willing to work hard on their game.
"If you are willing to do that then you have a good chance of beating your opponent," O'Dwyer said.
He warned, however, that success would not come from a half-hearted effort.
"I will be giving any player who puts his hand up a chance next year, reputations mean nothing, we want guys who are prepared to make sacrifices for the Griffith Swans Football Club.
"Players who can walk the walk and not just talk the talk are the ones I'll be looking at," the rugged backman said.
A self confessed football lover, O'Dwyer said he didn't touch alcohol during the season and hoped other players would make similar sacrifices to better their football.
"Once you taste success, you want more of it," the five time premiership player said.
"We need to breed a culture like that at the Swans - get every player on board and push each other to succeed."
Poor training attendance plagued the Swans effort this year, and O'Dwyer is looking to establish a player sub-committee to rectify the situation.
"I want to have a player sub-committee that will impose penalties on players who do not show at training, so it's just not me who looks the bad guy, but the player body.
"Ultimately though the onus falls back on the individual," he said.
O'Dwyer has already moved to bolster the sides playing stocks, bringing with him the silky skilled Queanbeyan onballer Cian Ebert to Griffith last weekend.
Hopefully the club and Cian can come to terms for next season because in my opinion he was the most skilled player in our competition and was also the club's fitness adviser," he said.
Swans' (out-going) secretary Craig Bretherton, said Ebert had informed the club of his requirements for next season and they would now make him an offer.
"We'll wait until the our committee is finalised at the annual general meeting tonight, and the new committee can decide what they are prepared to offer Cian for next year. "The make up of the committee is still up in the air, so it would be unfair for the current committee to make a decision," Bretherton said.
Having visited Griffith last weekend, O'Dwyer said he was impressed with the facilities at the Swans disposal, and looked forward to the challenge that lay ahead.
"I'm under no illusion it's going to be easy, but I have made two main goals which I hope to achieve next year.
"One is to improve the professionalism around the club and the other is to improve the player group to the point being a finals contender," he said.
Having always been involved with a successful club, O'Dwyer is definitely not one to settle for second best.
"Passion for the club is what I want to see."
While not willing to divulge names, O'Dwyer said the club would actively seek recruits within rival RFL clubs, and hoped to entice a number of players currently living in Griffith back to the Swans.
After flagging interest from rival RFL sides, including Turvey Park and Mangoplah, as well as Cootamundra, O'Dwyer believes their is a solid future with the Swans, and said he hoped to finish his football career in the red and white.
"I'd like to finish my career with the Swans in three, maybe four years, and along the way bring a premiership to Griffith - that would be a fantastic thing for me and the club," he said.
Although not planning to move to Griffith until after Christmas, a December start to the pre-season is on the cards for the Swans players.
"We will really step up in January," he said.
While completing his final year of primary school teaching degree, O'Dwyer said he was hopeful of finding a suitable job within Griffith or its surrounding areas, and was keen to settle into life in the Riverina as soon as possible.
If passion means anything, O'Dwyer is sure to succeed.
Story by Ben Casanella
(The Area News, Wednesday, October 20, 1999)