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21 Mar 2019
Memories From Yesteryear...Doug Farrant(Perth)
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TOPIC: Swan Districts - team of the 70's

Swan Districts - team of the 70's 4 months 1 week ago #159982

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Inspired by BH’s work I have come up with the following Swans team of the 70’s

B Greg Latham Tom Mullolly Tom Bell
HB Gordon Casey Stephen Gillespie Rod Brown
C Keith Narkle Brian Close Milan Trifunovich
HF Stan Nowotny Gary Sidebottom Peter Manning
F Gary McDonald Mark Olsen Ross Parker
R Ron Boucher Craig Holden Billy Walker
IC Bob Beecroft Barry Stockden Jeff Sartori Kim Michael
Emergency Max George Lou Milanko Steven Skulley
Others Laurie Andrew, Ian Cooper, Mark Foxon, Greg Frost, Gerry Isegar

Coach: Jack Ensor

All the players in this team played a significant amount of their football in the 70s, although a number played a lot in the 60s as well.
I didn’t include any of the players that emerged in the late 70’s under John Todd as their best footy was played in the 80s
I wrestled with the decision to leave out Max George as he was a hero of this school boy but I have to admit that Olsen was a better full forward and you couldn’t name anyone but Garry Sidebottom at CHF.
Would be interested in any comments from Swan42 or any supporters who saw these players
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Swan Districts - team of the 70's 4 months 1 week ago #159984

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Made two plelims in the 70's.Both where narrow losses.It helps Mike put a reasonable side on the paddock.John Todd took on almost a complete rebuild in 1977.After the disappointment of 1976.
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Swan Districts - team of the 70's 4 months 1 week ago #159991

  • Beasley Hutton
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Great stuff Mike.
I didnt get to see many of the players you have named through only being born in the mid 70s.
Stalwarts such as K.Narkle, Boucher, Nowotny, Mullooly, Holden, Sidebottom, McDonald, Casey & Gillespie I did get to see in the late 70s early 80s era thankfully plus the likes of Olsen, Bell (EF) & R.Brown (SU) who had moved to other WAFL clubs by then.
Interesting to see a number of those players named also ended up in the SANFL at one point or another- Close, R.Brown, Beecroft, George which probablty coincided with our fall from grace after the 74/75 Finals teams?!
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Swan Districts - team of the 70's 4 months 1 week ago #159996

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mikeh wrote: Inspired by BH’s work I have come up with the following Swans team of the 70’s

B Greg Latham Tom Mullolly Tom Bell
HB Gordon Casey Stephen Gillespie Rod Brown
C Keith Narkle Brian Close Milan Trifunovich
HF Stan Nowotny Gary Sidebottom Peter Manning
F Gary McDonald Mark Olsen Ross Parker
R Ron Boucher Craig Holden Billy Walker
IC Bob Beecroft Barry Stockden Jeff Sartori Kim Michael
Emergency Max George Lou Milanko Steven Skulley
Others Laurie Andrew, Ian Cooper, Mark Foxon, Greg Frost, Gerry Isegar

Coach: Jack Ensor

All the players in this team played a significant amount of their football in the 70s, although a number played a lot in the 60s as well.
I didn’t include any of the players that emerged in the late 70’s under John Todd as their best footy was played in the 80s
I wrestled with the decision to leave out Max George as he was a hero of this school boy but I have to admit that Olsen was a better full forward and you couldn’t name anyone but Garry Sidebottom at CHF.
Would be interested in any comments from Swan42 or any supporters who saw these players


Many long haired individuals in that lot - well done Mike. I think picking a team in this decade is harder because players played to position more then than the 80s or later (as BH showed with his superb side where most could play in two or three positions), case in point Nowotny who played nine seasons before kicking his first goal, and McDonald and Peter Manning quality centremen. Manning's performance in the middle against WP in the rain in 1975...gosh. But you couldn't leave Stan out of the team. But where is Magee!:dry:
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Swan Districts - team of the 70's 4 months 1 week ago #159997

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Magee was not a bad player but a very poor coach SH. I think we went backwards so fast in 1976 that Toddy needed 2 years for a complete rebuild.

I did struggle a bit with the positioning as Gary Mcdonald was a centreline player rather than a forward and there are a few others out of position as well but as you say some were too good to leave out.

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Swan Districts - team of the 70's 4 months 1 week ago #159998

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mikeh wrote: Magee was not a bad player but a very poor coach SH. I think we went backwards so fast in 1976 that Toddy needed 2 years for a complete rebuild.

I did struggle a bit with the positioning as Gary Mcdonald was a centreline player rather than a forward and there are a few others out of position as well but as you say some were too good to leave out.


On the football field Magee was average at everything Mike. Players who I had a bit of time for in this period were Stroud Dale and Peter Kempin that formed part of the reasonably well balanced teams of '73 to '75.

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Swan Districts - team of the 70's 4 months 1 week ago #160001

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Mike & SH I am interested in your thoughts as to why Jack Ensor was let go at the end of 1975 after a reasonably successful stint as League coach and Stewart Magee brought in as CC in 1976 as it all went pear shaped to say the least.
The loss of Beecroft, George, McDonald to the VFL and some others to the SANFL etc obviously didnt help but gee we really did fall away badly and then after 1 year Toddy was brought in to long term clean the place out!
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Swan Districts - team of the 70's 4 months 1 week ago #160002

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Hard to say BH. I was just a supporter who went to the footy every week and had no knowledge of Jack's relationship with the board or players. I had a sense that there may have been a bit of a 'generation gap' issue between coach and players but that was just my perception.

They had a great year in 1975 and were at or near the top for most of it but were found out in the finals series by a pacy West Perth combination coached by Graham Campbell. Swans were very top heavy and struggled at Subiaco on a fast track in the dry weather. We kicked appalllingly in the preliminary final against Souths ( 3- 11 I think it was at one stage) and that probably cost us that game but it was a blessing in disguise because it saved us from a thumping in the grand final that the Bulldogs got instead!

Overall I thought Ensor deserved at least one more year in 1976 to see if he could take the team further but as history shows Mcgee got the gig to our detriment.
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Swan Districts - team of the 70's 4 months 1 week ago #160003

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Beasley Hutton wrote: Mike & SH I am interested in your thoughts as to why Jack Ensor was let go at the end of 1975 after a reasonably successful stint as League coach and Stewart Magee brought in as CC in 1976 as it all went pear shaped to say the least.
The loss of Beecroft, George, McDonald to the VFL and some others to the SANFL etc obviously didnt help but gee we really did fall away badly and then after 1 year Toddy was brought in to long term clean the place out!


Any reply is full of one’s interpretation of events that someone else will interpret differently BH, but I believe that Swans’ hierarchy – rightfully – thought we’d blown it in 1975. To put that into perspective, I remember walking away from Bassendean Oval late in the season after we’d just thumped SF by ten goals that we were unchallengeable for the 1975 flag. Either just before or after that match we smashed WP. But we peaked too early, to the extent that Subi. caused a huge upset in the last round and we never fired a shot in the finals to go out in straight sets. Ensor copped the entire blame for the fade out – possibly correct, I do not know. But there is another variable that resulted in his sacking – Swans’ only successful period up until that point revolved around the appointment of an eastern stater as captain coach who took us to three flags – for many at the club, everything revolved around emulating those days, and Ensor did not fit the dream (or delusion). Ensor was dismissed, and a player similar on paper to Bunton installed. As you say BH, he was unlucky in that George and Beecroft left, but it was a disastrous year, and Magee was no Bunton - as we know now, no one is. So, in a nutshell, disappointment that we should have won the 1975 flag and historical tradition meant Ensor was sacked, but Jack’s record was not considered

Boucher leads the ruck in Mike’s team. Personally, the Boucher of pre 1976 was not the Boucher of post 1978 (he had 1977 off) either physically or mentally, and his success and later reputation is purely a result of Todd; although their nose to nose encounters were legendary. There was only one ruckman in the 1970s – Bobby Beecroft.
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Swan Districts - team of the 70's 4 months 1 week ago #160025

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Mike & SH could you tell me a bit more about Milan Trifunovich named on the wing in the 70s side as I dont know much about him...was he a speedy winger, tough, skilful, smooth mover etc?

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