GRIFFITH NOTES: "The Sou'Wester" August 5, 1979 - No. 15
By Swan: The Sou'Wester No. 15 unavailable
Beres Sexton spotlight on 'Rules'
As in all sports there are many people who gave many hours of their time to the administration and organisation in the running their respective sports. These people receive little recognition for their effort.
On such person is Rod Manning whose devotion to schoolboys' football has been significant.
This week I would like to take a look at his career and his association with schoolboys football.
Rod was born in Barellan and in a football career that lasted 10 years he played in four premierships sides - with Barellan in 1947 and Sandy Creek in 1954, 55 and 56.
As a point of interest, the three premiership sides that Rod played in when he was at Sandy Creek were the first three the club had won.
While playing he regarded the Irvins, Males, Bandys, Ron Overs, Claude Hillier, the Geddes and Merv Stiller, as just a few of the best players.
Rod went to Yenda in 1958 and with three other men decided to call a public meeting to get a football club started in Yenda.
From 15 to 20 people turned up to this meeting and it was decided there and then that an Australian Football Club would be started.
Rod recalled that this was not the first rules club in Yenda. The first played in early 1920's, and early 30's.
Harry Roff was one of the coaches in those days.
Jack Kloot was the first non-playing coach of the side in its first season - 1960, while he was still playing for Griffith.
Other coaches of the team in order were - Ted Heslop who came from Broken Hill, then Bob Spears in 1962, the year they amalgamated with Beelbangera.
Other local players to have coached Yenda were Gordon Browne, Doug Geddes and Bill Tyndall.
In 1960 a schoolboys' competition was started, with Yenda and Sandy Creek playing the first game, with it eventually snow balling until every side had their own team.
Yenda won the first schoolboys premiership twice in 1961 and '68 when they went through the year undefeated.
Rod's main involvement with the Yenda schoolboys before they folded at the end of the 1968 season was as coach and president at various times.
His involvement with Griffith schoolboys started the year the under 14's went through undefeated, which was five years ago.
The next successful side that Rod was associated with was the victorious under 15-years team which won the premiership last year 1978, when coached by John "Ducky" O'Donnell.
Rod agrees that the present numbers within the Mod Rules and schoolboys is the best he has seen in the years he has been associated with them.
Rod is hopeful that Narrandera, Leeton and Whitton will continue to increase the numbers of their juniors to make the Leeton zone a strong competition.
He would like to see an under 14 years and under 16 years competition operating and the third 18 brought back to an under 18 years competition.
He realises that this would be rather difficult for some of the smaller towns.
His son Graham is a member of the Griffith seniors and is regarded as a player with an excellent future.
Last year Rod's family had the misfortune to experience the loss of their son, Ian, who was also a member of the Griffith Club.
It is dedicated people like Rod Manning, who enable junior sports to flourish.
He will continue with his association in sports for many years yet.
(The Area News - Wednesday August 8, 1979)