GRIFFITH NOTES: "The Sou'wester" June 24, 1979 - No. 10
By Swan: Our win last Sunday against Grong Grong-Matong may not have made world headlines but within the club we knew what difficulties we had in mustering a side good enough to test the opposition of the day with so many injuries and players unavailable.
As such it gave us a great deal of delight to not only finish with a win which was our major object but when we were able to turn it into a percentage booster, naturally we had every reason to wag our tails.
We know the Magpies also had their problems but the test was there for both of us to triumph over our present difficulties and we finished with the greater joy simply because we found the more successful answers.
We were happy to see our promoted youngsters perform so well and to Alan McGann, Ashley Faulkner, Max Turner and Gerard Toscan, all playing their first game of senior football and doing more than what we expected.
Coach Peter Matuska gave us his best game of the season to answer the cause and the brothers Stephen and Neville Brand, Pat Dwyer, Allan Hicken all showing their best, we finished the day with a lot of joy
Our Reserve Grade had to dig deep to cover the requirements of not only the Seniors but their own needs as well and while outside the club you heard we beat Grong Grong-Matong, what is not known is how much we had to call up before we were able to field a side.
All this call on our Reserves left our Under 19's all but threadbare and we took no joy in advising Leeton we could not fulfill our commitments in this department.
Today it is Coolamon who are the enemy and while we are still down in player strength, we none the less expect our players to again answer the demands of the club and give us another big effort.
Jack Luhrs' spotlight on 'Rules'
In the past 15 years of South West football the Griffith Swans have made the final four in 14 of the final series.
They have played in seven grand finals in that time and the last won the premiership in 1968 with Ron O'Neill as coach - their only success since they won their first South West League flag in 1952.
Griffith have the enviable record of playing in more grand finals than any other South West club of recent years.
It is a record that has brought both pride and disappointment to Griffith.
Their (second) last grand final appearance was in 1971 when raw coach Ron Russell developed a team of unknown kids into a premiership threat that all but stole the premiership honours from the Leeton Redlegs.
Griffith have had potential premiership sides since that date and their next run of golden years came with Trevor Miller as leader.
The Swans finished either first or second on the competition table in his time but were frustrated into minor roles when the premiership stakes were being counted.
Two more final finals were to follow under Bob Greenwood and Allan Way but again the elusive chance to play out the grand final eluded the Swans.
In present South West football, Griffith are in a role foreign to past positions.
For years the sides that have copped a blast from the Swans are today handing out the beatings that have been the role of the Griffith side.
It is no fault of the administration or the recent coaches but rather the ebb and flow of football success.
Pride in the club will see Griffith rise again as a football power and many of the young within the side today will be part of that glory.
If you believe you have to be a six foot plus built into a hefty frame to be a football winner, you should cast your eye over Kelvin Turner.
He played reserve grade last season after coming through the ranks before deciding on a season in Darwin football.
Reports from the North of his maturity as a player left the doubters unconvinced but this season in South West play has removed any area of disbelief.
Turner is a midget in size but is a real power pack in a game.
His final quarter at Coolamon last Sunday was a gem in a day where he was always within distance of one of the Swans' best.
Turner should cap off what has been an inspiring year in his football career as one of the front runners to take out the Swans' best and fairest voting.
Griffith Swans' seconds survived the first half round of the South West League to remain undefeated competition leaders.
They completed their most desperate challenge last Sunday at Coolamon when third placed home team took the Swans to the first draw of the current competition.
The Swans have been under pressure to remain leaders with a severe drain on their numbers to plug the gaps created in the senior side.
Despite the challenge, Griffith have continued to churn out results and could have turned the corner into the time when their strength in future games will come back closer to their top playing ability.
(The Area News - Wednesday June 27, 1979)