Griffith Swans - Team of the Century
GRIFFITH'S GREATS HONOURED IN TEAM OF THE CENTURY
GRIFFITH has produced some outstanding footballers over the past 100 years - and the legends among them have now been immortalised.
The Swans named their Team of the Century on Saturday night in front of nearly 300 guests at the club's centenary dinner at the Griffith Ex-Servicemen's Club.
Led by 1964 skipper Peter Morris, who was named captain, the team was selected by a panel including Bob Spears, George Duncan, Ernie Wade and club historian Trevor Harrison, whose tireless groundwork laid the foundation for the entire weekend.
It reads as a roll call of Griffith's all-time best players, featuring a hard-nosed backline marshalled by the only player to have made more than 300 appearances for the Swans, Sid Robins, a midfield powered by former South Melbourne ruckman Don Keyter and 1989 Jim Quinn medallist Les Parish, and a forward set-up anchored by the great Ron O'Neill, who kicked an incomprehensible 256 goals in just 38 games across two seasons in the 1960s.
"The selectors have done a wonderful job - it's a great side. If it ran out tomorrow it'd decimate almost every side in the country," said local solicitor and club stalwart Ian Geddes, who had the privilege of reading out the team and presenting its inductees with special centenary mugs.
"It's always been a great community and the people who have looked after the club over the years have carried on the tradition and done a fantastic job."
The evening was launched by guest speaker Sam Kekovich, who delivered a typically rapid-fire monologue that honoured the role sporting institutions play in wider Australian society.
"This has always been a very, very inclusive club that's looked after its players," Geddes said.
"The club's really run with the history of the town. Our town's 100 years old next year and the game's been played here for that period of time.
"Even during the second World War and tough times they were able to play a game of football."
President Jeff Harris said he was honoured to be at the helm of a club like the Swans.
"It's easy to lose sight of what it might mean to those from generations past," he said.
"Seeing the guys that have travelled and the sheer numbers we've got, it speaks volumes.
"Having seen the weekend come together and the hard work everyone's put into it, it's very pleasing and obviously a great honour to be involved with this club."
By Vince Rugari - The Area News - Monday April 28, 2014
Ex Barellan / Sydney Swans. Nickname Rowdy. A determined, hard aggressive footballer not afraid to speak his mind. Surprised himself by winning the 2000 Jim Quinn Medal.
Tom Roulent, (Vice-Captain)
Ex North Melbourne and South Melbourne full back. Roulent thrilled thousands of fans in the South West with his magnificent kicking. He was a great leader and dynamic player who not only won the admiration of his teammates but opponents alike. Coached Griffith to the 1952 premiership.
One of Griffith's most promising juniors, making his senior debut in 1961 at 15. He was brilliant mark who played at full forward or on the half forward line. Was called up for National Service duty midway through 1966. Returned in 1969 where he became the Club's No. 1 ruckman.
HALF BACK LINE
Geoff Willis, (Coach)
Ex North Melbourne half back flanker. One of the most popular personalities to coach the club. Great attack on the football brought about his winning of the League's first Gammage medal in 1948. Boxed at Melbourne's Festival Hall.
Started as a winger, but developed into a wonderful reliable centre half back. He not only won the 1972 Gammage Medal but won Griffith best and fairest in successful years 1969-72. Still holds the clubs record number of senior games 317.
Ex Beelbangera. A scrupulously fair player who always made the ball his prime object. Great ball-getter and a exceptional good mark. Won two Gammage Medals as a rover. Played on the half back flank in South West League historic victory over the Hampden League in 1964.
Regarded as one of the best wingers of his era, Terry was part of a great Griffith centreline, with Fred Clarke in the centre and Jack Shrives on the other wing. He was a real speedster and was the winner of the 1950 Wagga Gift, and he also finished runner-up at Bendigo and Narrandera.
Ex Melbourne and Darwin Waratahs. A top class centreman and talented all-round sportsman. Created many goal scoring chances for full forward Ralphie Robins.
Michael Duncan: It is rare to hear a Griffith supporter to refer to this home-grown midfielder without putting the words ‘The Great’ before his name. The inimitable, incomparable, inestimable; which ever superlative is used he will always be ‘The Great Mick Duncan’.
HALF FORWARD LINE
The son of a Colac dairy farmer who grew up in Geelong. A wonderful elusive footballer who lived up to his reputation as a brilliant ball handler and ground player. Cleaned up every award going in 1964. Played his part in South West championship win against Hampden League. Represented South West League on some 20 occasions.
A supremely gifted player, strong overhead, beautifully balanced and adept at delivering the ball with hand or foot. South West League leading goal kicker in 1973 and winners of the last Gammage Medal awarded.
Peter Morris, (Captain)
Ex Richmond and Dandenong. Half forward/rover. Inspiring leader and team player. Played a starring roll in South West championship win over Hampden League. Helped Secco win Gammage medal by a record margin. Best player for Griffith in the 1964 Grand Final.
William "Pouncer" Wade
In his younger days Wade was a champion. In pre-war days while the Murrumbidgee Irrigation canal was being contructed he played with a number of clubs including Griffith and Wilga. Because of aptitude in getting possession of the ball he was given the name of "Pouncer."
Ex Camberwell. Goals and O'Neill seemed to go together. In two seasons as captain coach he kicked 9 goals or more in a game on 13 occasions, and 256 goals in all. O'Neill led the club to their first premiership in 16 years.
Originally with Geelong he joined Griffith in 1965 as captain coach at the young age of 21. Strong, fast and vigorous Kirky was one hell of a player who gave great service to the club and league.
Ex South Melbourne. Not only is Keyter regarded as the club's greatest ruckman he was arguable one of the toughest footballer's to ever lace the football boots during the "Golden Era" of South West football.
Ex Fitzroy and Melbourne. He was a tough ruck rover recruited from Yarrawonga to win a premiership. His experience and leadership were invaluable. Coached for three years - and the rest is history.
Ex Hanwood. Ranked one of the finest footballers of his time, he was idolised by the Griffith crowd. Anstee captained the 1938 Griffith premiership side at the age of 23.
A backman from Binya. An extremely solid defender who saved his best for the games that mattered. Excelled in rep. matches.
A wiry little footballer who took extremely high marks for his size, Feltwell played mainly in the forward pocket and had uncanny goal sense.
Ex Leeton Redleg. Tenacious centre man with seeming ability to have the ball on a string. Unlucky not to win at least one club best & fairest award so good was his play.
Impeccable ruckman who gave the club great service through three decades. Ruckman in RFL division two Victorian Country championship winning side against West Gippsland in 1984.
Adley "Bill" Biron
Ex Beelbangera. Long serving ruckman who took skyscraping marks. The older he got the better he became. Change ruckman in South West championship winning side against Hampden League.
Ex Barooga and Queanbeyan. Dedicated footballer who arrived at Griffith as captain coach in 2000 and wouldn't leave town until the premiership was won.
Guy Orton: Is without doubt one of the most popular footballer of recent times. Duel Jim Quinn medallist.
Member of the re-known Tyndall clan. A never-say-die rover who was a ferocious tackler. Many a teammate have said what a wonderful player he was to play with.