Tuesday, January 31, 2012

15 Man Squad for Cabramatta International 9's

Western Suburbs coach Trevor Schodel has named his 15 man squad for the upcoming Cabramatta International 9's Tournament to be played Saturday 4th Feb at New Era Stadium, Cabramatta. The magpies have drawn Pool E alongside Liverpool and Kingsgrove. Wests first match will be against Liverpool starting at 10.40am and then play Kingsgrove at 11.40am.

The 15 man squad is -

1 Michael La Manna
2 Keanu Rogers
3 Aaron Teariki
4 Greg Davis
5 Sharlon Taki
6 Daniel Perkins
7 Chris Nay
8 AJ Persomino
9 Todd Sault
10 Tom Morrison
11 Michael Lekkas
12 William Siale
13 Rangi Tagaloa
14 Nick Sbezzi
15 Chris Faee

The magpies need your support so come out and watch your team in action. The boys would love
to see as many supporters at the games as possible. Wear your Western Suburbs magpies gear
and show your support.
Entry is $5.00 for adults and kids under 12 are free. Food and beverages are available at the ground.

Happy birthday to............Warren Boland

The Western Suburbs magpies family wish former player and captain, Warren Boland a very happy birthday on 1st February.

Warren was something of a rare breed in rugby league in that he was captain of a side whilst playing on the wing. It is unusual to have a captain who is so far removed from the centre of the action.

Warren played lower grades for St George, winning an U23 title with the dragons in 1974. He took a year off in 1975 and joined Balmain in 1976 as he was attending Macquarie Uni at the time. He was unable to cement a regular first grade spot at the tigers and joined Western Suburbs in 1979 along with several other fringe first graders from the tigers. He was an immediate starter in first grade with the magpies and finished the season with 8 tries. With the loss in 1980 of so many experienced players to other clubs, Wests coach Roy Masters appointed Warren as first grade captain and it was a position Warren held until he retired at the end of 1983 with the only exception being when he was out injured. Warren suffered a broken leg early in the 1981 which kept him out for several months but came back towards the back end of the season as the magpies made a charge for the finals but unfortunately missed the finals (the only time in Roy's time at Wests they missed the first grade finals).

In all, Warren played just under 100 first grade games for the magpies scoring 22 tries. He was named as wing and captain of the Western Suburbs Team of the Eighties.

After retirement, Warren found a niche as a rugby league commentator working for ABC calling the Saturday afternoon game during the late 80's & early 90's with Arthur Beetson and then with Fox. He has also done commentary for the ABC calling the QLD Cup rugby league matches.

Monday, January 30, 2012

International Cabramatta 9's Draw

The Western Suburbs Magpies will be entering a team in the 2012 International 9’s Tournament will be held on Saturday, 4th February 2012 at Cabramatta. 

24 teams is expected as we have had in the past. Prizemoney will again be on offer along with food and beverage on the day provided by Cabramatta RLFC.

This competition falls on the Magpies 104th birthday!

Game 1 - 10:40am - Magpies v Liverpool - Field 1
Game 2 - 11:40am - Magpies v Kingsgrove - Field 2

Quarter Finals Start at 2:10pm

Semi Finals Start at 4:00pm

Finals Bowl: 5:30pm
Finals Plate: 6:00pm
Final Cup: 6:30pm

Cabramatta #1
Cabramatta #2
Blacktown Workers
Cook Islands
The Entrance
Auburn #1
Auburn #2
Western Suburbs
Liverpool #1
Liverpool #2
Fiji Parkes

Sunday, January 29, 2012

First Trial for 2012 - Wests Magpies 32 Kingsgrove Colts 16

The new look magpies took the field in their first trial match in 2012 today against Bundaberg Cup outfit, Kingsgrove Colts at Scarborough Park, Monterey and came away with an impressive 32 to 16 victory. The match was played in hot and very gusty conditions and coach Trevor Schodel gave his entire squad of around 30 players a run during the course of the match. Due to the conditions (and lack of touch judges), it was decided that no shots at goals would be made.

The magpies were led by former Cronulla and Newtown halfback, Nigel Millgate and it was Nigel who set up the first try in the 12th minute with a bomb to the corner which was dropped by the Colts winger and eventually the ball came to second rower, Alex Frail to score a four pointer. Nigel was in the thick of it again when he scored Wests their second try 3 minutes later which came after some solid defence by the magpies resulted in a dropped ball by the Colts and four tackles later the try resulted. Kingsgrove scored an opportunistic try with a deft ingoal kick resulted in a try - the only problem was that there was no ingoal area marked. Due to the hot and windy conditions, the game was played in four quarters and this proved an ideal opportunity for Trevor to rotate his players. Wests were up 8 to 4 at quarter time.

Captain, Nigel Millgate set up the 3rd Wests try 6 minutes into the second quarter with a cross field kick which was plucked out of the air by the winger to score in the corner. Wests up 12 to 4. However from the kickoff, Wests lost possession from a jolting first tackle and within 2 rucks, Kingsrove scored to make it 12 to 8. Wests were able to maintain defensive pressure from the kickoff and a clearing kick on the last tackle from Kingsgrove was only able to land near halfway. Then in a passing movement from winger to winger on the first tackle, Wests were in again thanks to rangy centre, Greg Davis to make the score16 to 8. Wests fifth try 14 minutes into the second quarter saw a magnificent sweeping backline movement with quick hands that would make even the Brisbane Broncos proud. The halftime score was Wests 20 Kingsgrove 8.

At halftime Trevor drilled into his team to keep their defensive line intact, back up the man with the ball and that they keep looking out for each other. He said the 2 tries by Kingsgrove were from little lapses in concentration by Wests and overall the defensive line had been very good.The first 5 minutes of the 3rd quarter saw some big hits from the huge Wests pack led by Eddie Sua. However it was Kingsgrove who scored the first try 7 minutes in. Sustained pressure saw the magpies line breached with consecutive sets of 6 and the Colts reduced the score to 20 to 12. The next 10 minutes was a dour struggle as Trevor used several replacements and Kingsgrove were able to score another tryjust before the break to reduce the score even further, 20 to 16.

A stern 3/4 time talk by Trevor and some changes at the break saw the magpies come out with renewed vigor in the final quarter posting tries in the 4th, 9th and 18th minutes to win the game 32 to 16.

Trevor said he was extremely happy with the hit out from the boys today particularly with the conditions being what they were. He was very impressed with the efforts from the big pack Wests have and the overallefforts from every one that played. Trevor is confident he has a squad that will be very competitive in 2012 and will put the final touches for a main squad in the coming weeks when further trials will be played.

The magpies will enter a squad for the up coming Cabramatta International 9's tournament to be held at Cabramatta's New Era Stadium on Saturday 4th Feb commencing at 10am. Trevor will finalise his lineup later this week for the tournament and a draw will be issued by the organisiers shortly.

Happy birthday to..............Trevor Cogger

The Western Suburbs magpies family wish former player Trevor Cogger a very happy birthday for January 30.

Trevor is perhaps the last great clubman from the Lidcombe era to play for the magpies. He could play anywhere in the backline but was at his best when playing five eighth. Trevor came up from the juniors through the Berala Bears (the same club as Alan Neil) and is a life member of that club.

Contrary to popular belief, Trevor made his 1st grade debut in round 3 against Canterbury at Belmore in 1981 which was not the game that Trevor gained widespread media attention for. That game was the following year but also against the bulldogs this time at Lidcombe. The legend is that after Trevor completed his lower grade game duties, he settled down on the hill with his mates and a meat pie (some say he had a beer as well) to watch the 1st grade game when the public address system message came out, "Trevor Cogger please report to the Wests dressing room". The rest is folklore - Trevor scored 2 tries - his first in the top grade and the magpies won 16 to 7.

In all, Trevor played 308 games for the magpies scoring a club record 88 tries and included 160 first grade games with 48 tries. He was the magpies leading tryscorer in the 1985 season with 9 tries. His playing career spanned 11 seasons - 1981 to 1991. His last game for the magpies was the 1991 Prelliminary semi final against Canberra with the magpies going down 22 to 8. He also had a stint in England with Leigh during the 1985/6 season. He played in the last game Wests played at Lidcombe Oval (August 31 1986 against Easts) and the first official home game Wests played at Campbelltown - March 7 1987 against Parramatta (although he did play for Wests against Easts at Campbelltown on June 1 1986 but this was designated as an Easts home game).

Trevor is a Life Member of the Western Suburbs Magpies, was named in the Wests team of the eighties as five eighth and is in the magpies Hall of Fame. His younger brother John also played briefly for the magpies in the mid 80's.

Trevor played for the magpies at a time when mostly the club was fighting for survival season after season but always remained loyal to the magpies knocking back rival offers from wealthier clubs. A truly great clubman - a magpie legend.

Happy birthday Trevor.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Meetings of the Board of Wests Ashfield Leagues Club and the new Board of Western Suburbs Football Club have breathed new life into the Magpies to ensure the team will compete in the 2012 State Cup and provide a springboard for junior players to aim for the highest levels of Rugby League.

The Board of Wests Ashfield last week agreed to restore funding to the Magpies, and that further funds would be available in future years, subject to the outcome of governance matters relating to the football club.

These were resolved at the Magpies meeting on Tuesday January 24 with the election of former player Mick Liubinskas as Chairman.
The new administration is committed to developing a plan to ensure the Magpies will continue to look after their district at all levels.

Wests Ashfield Leagues Club will remain the primary source of funding for the Magpies, but the level of funds provided as always will depend on future developments relating to the club industry which is under considerable pressure from various outside forces.

Talks will continue between the Leagues Club, the Magpies and Wests Tigers regarding the possibility of uniting the State Cup teams of foundation clubs Wests and Balmain beyond 2012.

Discussions will be expanded to include Wests Campbelltown Leagues and the wider Wests community and will consider the views of all.

No decision on the likely operations of any of the shareholders in Wests Tigers has yet been made, but the Magpies have taken the lead in being prepared to discuss the future and want to listen to the concerns of their members.

The new Magpies Board believes that a strengthened link with Wests Tigers will satisfy Sydney’s growing south-western region’s appetite to compete in Rugby League at all levels and any new opportunities that might emerge, while providing football with connections proudly dating back to the launch of the game in 1908.

The Board will continue to support and promote the unequalled treasure house of history and tradition that has enabled Wests to survive various carve-ups and relocations to become an important contributor to success in the NRL through The Magpies and Wests Tigers.

Under the Chairmanship of Mick Liubinskas, the Magpies will keep warbling throughout their second century. 

Media Contact: Mick Liubinskas 0424 580 215

News Release 24 January 2012

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Jeff Aplitt

Popular Western Suburbs magpie and Wests Tigers volunteer, Jeff Aplitt is currently recovering in Bankstown Hospital after suffering a stroke recently. Jeff attends all magpies NSW Cup matches being the change room attendant and sin bin official and also helps out at Wests Tigers matches and Wests junior league matches. He has been a volunteer with the senior magpies since the late 1980's and was previously involved with the junior magpies squads back in the Lidcombe days.

He is a true champion of rugby league doing everything from working on the gate, sin bin official, doorman, manager and is always one of the last to leave the dressing room after the game.

The magpie family extends its warm wishes to Jeff for a speedy recovery.

First trial for 2012 - Kingsgrove Colts - Sunday 29 Jan

The new look Western Suburbs magpies play their first trial for 2012 against Bundaberg Cup outfit, Kingsgrove Colts, this Sunday 29th January at Scarborough Park, Monterey (near Ramsgate). Kick off is at 2pm.
Coach Trevor Schodel reports that he has had 2 players from the NZ Warriors junior development squad come over to try their luck with the magpies and will be on show at this game.
This year's squad has a HUGE forward pack, with many old magpie observers saying its the biggest pack the magpies have had in years. There is pace in the backs and a crafty pair of halves.
Halfback, Nigel Millgate will captain the side.
Let's get behind the magpies this year. Your support is vital.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Joint venture statement by the board

THE board of Wests Ashfield Leagues Club has responded to recent media reports concerning Western Suburbs Magpies.

The leagues club stated it had continued to work with Wests Tigers to achieve the best results for the joint venture while continuing to support and respect the heritage, history and contribution of the Magpies.
The leagues club has agreed to support a single NSW Cup team, representative of both joint venture clubs, in the 2013 season.

Wests Tigers and Wests Ashfield Leagues Club agreed that the Magpies are recognised as the district club in the Campbelltown area, the Magpies will continue to participate (as the Magpies) in junior representative Harold Matthews and SG Ball and, where appropriate, other competitions. Magpies retains all of their rights, including the ability to review the operation of a single State Cup team in future years.
Wests Tigers will continue to work with the Magpies to ensure appropriate pathways are met for the junior players in the south west.

The 2013 combined State Cup playing strip would alternate between Wests and Balmain colours.
Wests Ashfield Leagues Club recognises the significant financial contribution required to meet obligations to all rugby league stakeholders and the need to prioritise the appropriation of available funding to meet these needs.

Wests Ashfield Leagues Club deputy chairman Russell Smith said it was important to keep focus on the real issues at play in this situation. "Wests Ashfield Leagues remains totally committed to the continuing sustainable role of Wests Magpies as a vital component in the structure of rugby league to continue to provide a well-defined and positive pathway for aspiring players in the Campbelltown and surrounding regions," he said.

"We have confidence in the management of the Wests Tigers joint venture as portrayed in the results that have been achieved in the recent past."

The Wests Magpies board will work closely with stakeholders to ensure all the usual operations and functions of a district club continue.

18 Jan, 2012 01:00 AM

Saturday, January 14, 2012

News from the Nest - A New Look Magpies team in 2012

A new look Western Suburbs Magpies NSW Cup squad for 2012.

New magpies coach Trevor Schodel loves nothing more than a challenge and he reports his charges are training the house down and is very happy with the squad he has assembled. Whilst it is missing NRL first graders, Trevor says the players he has all want to play for the magpies, "They are here because they all want to play for the magpies, they all want to an opportunity and the magpies are giving them that chance" he said. There is no one in the squad that are under any illusions about the demands that lay ahead of them.

Players have been recruited from clubs in the local Wests Junior league, Group 6, Bundaberg Red Cup, Illawarra Carlton league, NRL U20 squads, other junior league areas (incl Penrith, St george) and even overseas.There are only 2 faces from the 2011 side (rookie of the year Amanono Tovio and Alex Frail who returned to Dubbo during the season) who have returned to the magpies.

One player keen to impress is Eddie Sua, a mountain of a man who plays front row and weighs over 120kg, who in 2011 played for Cabramatta in the Bundy Cup and has previously player for Cronulla at NRL level back in 2007 playing 6 first grade matches. He has also represented Portugal at rugby league at the European World Cup qualifiers. .

Another new recruit is halfback, Nigel Millgate. Originally from Dubbo, he has previously play for Cronulla & Newtown in the NSW Cup but in 2011 played, in of all places, the USA for the New York Knights who were crowned 2011 AMNRL (American National Rugby League) champions and Nigel was crowned Most Valuable Player (MVP) in the AMNRL.

Another interesting recruit is Greg Davis, whose father, Brett Davis, played first grade for the Western Suburbs magpies in 1986-87.

Players from the local junior league have certainly not been neglected and Trevor reports huge interest from local players and confirms a member from Minto's premiership winning A-Grade team from 2011 among the recruits together with a forward in the starting lineup from the successful Western Suburbs SG Ball team from 2011. Other players from wests junior league and Group 6 clubs have also come on board.

The new look magpies will play their first trial against Bundaberg Red Cup 2011 premiers, Cabramatta on Saturday 11 Feb at 6pm at New Era Stadium, Cabramatta. They will then play their second trial on Saturday 18th Feb against Manly NSW Cup side at Brookvale Oval starting at 5.45pm.

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Passion Within

I have come to the conclusion that queenslanders and wests magpie supporters have one thing in common, the passion for their associated teams. And to make it even more bizarre for me is yes i am a magpies supporter but actually follow the EELS in the NRL. How did this come about you ask ?? Growing up in country NSW my father was an AFL player and followed Collingwood, league in my household growing up was in dribs and drabs on the television as we mostly sat in front of the box on a Saturday arvo watching the then VFL game of the week. I started to get into league at around 7-8 years old and because my dad was a Collingwood supporter as mentioned before so i would look for a namesake & colours in the rugby league code and found the wests magpies. I found my rugby league team and followed the game more intensely since my decision. Over time and during my formative years my heart started to gravitate towards the parramatta eels as i fell in love with the grace and skills of the backline of sterling,Kenny,ella,grothe Cronin etc. From that moment i adopted the eels as my team but still had a soft spot for mighty magpies being my first choice, they say you never forget your first love i could use that analogy in this situation. Around this time i first started to play the game around 10 years old. I cared no longer for AFL (which incidently i never played but fully understood), or soccer which i had played up until that point, rugby league called out to me and i responded with “ I’m coming “ .

When the magpies and Balmain formed the joint venture i had some mixed feelings, yes both teams need to do it in order to survive thanks to super league but felt it was an odd marriage especially with the great geographical divide at the time, yet wests originally being from ashfield was close to Balmain so it made sense in theory from a historical standpoint. Also designing a jumper wouldn’t be that difficult also with both teams sharing black as their colour so no expecting a jumper like jesus’s technicolour dreamcoat. I always saw Balmain as the “ bad boys” of rugby league and had that aura of dislike about them during the 80’s like what Manly has to this day. With players like roach,hardwick,hemsley,elias etc it you could easily see why, they were players you love to hate, wayne pearce & scot gale were notably the exception !!
Even though i follow the eels i have no connection or patriotism towards Wentworthville parramatta’ reserve grade side in NSW cup, i have no connection or patriotism towards West Tigers in NRL as to me they are a “ company ” & moreso a “brand” than a football club ,that is why the eels & bulldogs wanted it so badly at one point in time,even balmain flirted with commercialism naming themselves sydney tigers for a brief period and basing themselves at parramatta. Anyway i follow the magpies because deep down are sentimental to me and are worth fighting for but politics and money seem to ruin everything . Yes crowds and the exposure of the maggies have dropped over they ears but its hard when you have been relegated to what is really “ Park Football” when the rug has been pulled from under your feet now that main gameday fixtures rarely include an open age reserve grade games as a lead up.
During my childhood in the mid 80s when i started to follow the eels my sister ironically started to follow the Balmain tigers , to this day she still follows the wests tigers, i thought she would have come to her senses by now :)