GRIFFITH NOTES: "The Sou'wester" May 27, 1979 - No. 6
By Swan: For reasons that must be galling to Ardlethan, we always seem to save our best football when we meet them in competition.
Our last game was no exception and although the Stars played much better in the second half, the day belonged to us and we were more than satisfied with our big win.
We have had our problems and some of them are still with us as our playing strength could suffer in the week's ahead.
Perhaps it is the right time for our club to consider stocktaking for this year and look to the future with the development of the big numbers of youthful players already in our side and promoted from the Reserve grade.
It means all our three grades will be tested as we move players upstairs but we consider our future is bright and we aim to win our share of the remaining matches.
With league re-distribution a popular subject at the moment, to the writer's mind, the simple solution without too much disruption to our own league and that of our sister Farrer League, would be the inclusion of Temora to the South West.
Temora has the geographical location to our own league and would mean the end of the bye to both us and the Farrer League.
Quite simply, talk of relegation and promotion around a so-called super league is impractical.
Could you see Griffith travelling to say Holbrook or Culcairn as desirable or good for football?
Or as an alternative to the above, if Temora are not admitted, to include a second Wagga side from the Farrer League into South West.
In reverse, the shift of Turvey Park to Farrer would be a disaster for the South West.
With our own club weeks without competition play and others likely to be placed that way in the future, the present system is in need of a change.
Jack Luhrs' spotlight on 'Rules'
Griffith Swans assistant coach Garry Smart, has informed the club he will not be completing his contract and has decided to seek his football fortunes elsewhere.
Smart has been unhappy with his form to date, and his subdued play this season has caused concern to Griffith officials.
He has informed club president, Mr. Pat Cudmore, he is "frustrated and unhappy" and has sought a release as the best solution to the problem.
Smart rejoined Griffith after giving the Swans one top season when he came to Griffith in 1977.
It was this kind of form that made the Swans very keen to sign Smart again after he stood out of football last year to partake of an overseas trip.
He came to Griffith via the Darwin Waratahs after being the property of Woodville in Adelaide's senior competition.
Smart astounded Griffith officials on the day of the Narrandera match by leaving in the last quarter in a game where Narrandera were mounting a heavy defeat of the Swans.
His form in games had improved slightly but was well below that expected from a player of his calibre.
Smart advised he was keen to join his playing pal Tom Sandery, who is with Brisbane's Western Districts club.
Griffith at one stage considered Sandery would be joining them and negotiations proceeded along these lines.
However, Sandery elected to go to Brisbane to play under former Griffith assistant coach Arch Wilkey.
Wilkey is present coach of Western Districts, who are present competition leaders in the Northern League.
A prolific winning rover, Sandery has been one of the reasons for the success of the Western Districts and has been continually been named in their best player list.
When questioned concerning a clearance being granted to Smart, club president Mr. Pat Cudmore said: "Garry has certain unfulfilled obligations to our club and when these are satisfied, we will then discuss any clearance application".
Mr. Cudmore advised that no such clearance has been lodged with the Swans.
He also advised a similar situation existed regarding Laurie Saunders.
Saunders was introduced to the Swans by Smart and is a fellow South Australian.
He played three senior matches with Griffith after trialling as a centre half forward but failed to hold down that position.
Saunders last played for Griffith in the reserve grade at Ganmain but has since headed to Queensland.
The Swans have yet to receive a clearance application but Mr. Cudmore stated: "We received a telephone call one night advising the papers were being prepared."
With the departure of Smart, the Swans have appointed local player Glen Harrison as assistant coach to Peter Matuska.
Harrison told me: "I am honoured the Swans considered me for the position, I aim to do my best wherever I am able."
Harrison is out of football for the moment with a fractured bone in the wrist but is expected to play his comeback game when Griffith resumes South West competition play at Leeton, on June 10.
The loss of Smart will be offset by the gain of new rover Peter McGrath.
Already in training with his new club, McGrath hails from Mathoura in the Echuca League and has already applied for a clearance. McGrath is a brother to Wagga Tigers player Dave McGrath.
He is hoped the problem of a clearance will be resolved for McGrath to play his first game for Griffith at Leeton.
Two wins in succession has the Swans "going to plan".
After three opening defeats coach Peter Matuska said: "We will win all our remaining games before the end of the first round."
(The Area News - Wednesday May 23, 1979)