Monday, September 29, 2014

Wests Tigers: New Coach and G.M.

Wests Tigers have today announced that Phil Moss will be joining the Club as General Manager of Football Operations, with Jason Taylor appointed as NRL Head Coach.

Moss will take on the newly created General Manager of Football Operations role, having most recently held a similar position at the Penrith Panthers. Moss also spent eight years at the Parramatta Eels with his most recent position as Chief Operating Officer.

Moss’ experience is extensive in the areas of salary cap management, development pathways, and welfare & education. Moss will oversee NRL, NYC & NSW Cup administration.

Jason Taylor has been NRL Assistant Coach at the Sydney Roosters for the past two seasons, and was an integral part of their premiership win in 2013. Having previously held NRL Head Coaching roles at both the South Sydney Rabbitohs and Parramatta Eels, Taylor has shown a strong desire to develop talented youth, and has been exceptionally impressive in his aspirations to bring through the many young talented players at the Wests Tigers. Taylor is also a strong advocate for discipline and culture, saying that the Club has strong foundations that he can build on as NRL Head Coach.

A selection committee nominated by the Wests Tigers Board for the Head Coaching role comprised of CEO Grant Mayer and three directors, with one representative from Wests, Balmain, and the Independents.

The recruitment process was thorough, with a long list of candidates for both jobs. The selection committee interviewed five candidates for the NRL Head Coach role, followed by a screening process that resulted in Jason Taylor being selected for the job.

Wests Tigers Chair Marina Go said that the appointments were important steps for the Club as it looks to the 2015 season and well beyond.

“The Wests Tigers Board is thrilled to welcome Jason Taylor and Phil Moss, two highly skilled and experienced Rugby League professionals with impressive track records,” said Go. “Their appointments are key to building a new culture and setting the foundations for a successful future at Wests Tigers. This is an important step forward for our Club."

Wests Tigers CEO Grant Mayer said that the Club was looking forward to working closely with Moss and Taylor.

“Both Phil and Jason embraced all of the criteria that the club set for these roles and knowing that they have shared a strong working relationship in the past, the board and management have great confidence that they will lead the Wests Tigers forward,” Mayer said.

“The partnership between Phil and Jason is imperative with both given very clear objectives. Phil will manage the entire football program, with Jason taking on the core coaching responsibilities for the NRL squad. The demands for Head Coaches these days are so diverse that having Phil in the General Manager role will allow Jason to do what he does best.

“Jason has been given full autonomy to interview and appoint his coaching staff. No doubt his first point of call will be to meet with the existing staff to understand their individual strengths. Phil will support Jason in this endeavor and will also build a structure across NYC & NSW Cup that will compliment what the club and the NRL Team,” he said. “The key element for this relationship is that we have a very clear linear approach to how we develop our players from our grassroots program from Harold Matthews and SG Ball all the way to the NRL.

“In regards to our playing roster, many of our Members and fans rejoiced with the Club when we secured players such as Aaron Woods, Luke Brooks, Mitchell Moses, James Tedesco, David Nofoaluma and Tim Simona. A key part of the interview process was to ensure that Jason was comfortable with these players, and that he could build around this core group and Captain Robbie Farah, as well as club stalwarts like Chris Lawrence and Keith Galloway. Further recruitment and retention will fall into Jason’s core responsibility. The Club has halted all negotiations throughout this interview process to ensure our Head Coach is given the control he deserves. This process is no different to any other NRL Club or how this Club has operated historically despite what may have been reported,” Mayer said.

Both Moss and Taylor are expected to start with the club no later than October 14, which will ensure they have ample time to prepare for player’s return to 2015 pre-season training on November 3.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Magpie Golf Day Results

'69 people attended Wests Magpies Golf Day on Thursday 25/09/14. The event was once again held at Camden Valley Golf Resort. The facilities on course and in house were outstanding with the staff offering friendly and professional help. It was a beautiful day and luckily we did not feel the impact of local storms. Our lunch, which was enjoyed by all, was the Australian BBQ selection

Results. Winners - 'Be A Sport' team with a combined handicap of 13.5: Rick Wayde, Leo Epifania, Steve Ghosn and Mark Cooper scoring 52.5 nett. Runners up - (On a count back after recording the same score) with a combined handicap of 13.5: Noel Cummings, Bob Cox, Glen Creecy and Glen Harding. 3rd place - 'Fanatics Team' with a combined handicap of 12: Col Ison, Max Anderson, Terry Williams and Trevor Atkins scoring 53 nett. Nearest to the pin 3rd hole - Jamie Anderson, NSWRL team. Nearest to the pin 16th hole - Colin Ison, Fanatics team. Longest Drive - Richardson & Wrench Team. Shortest Drive - Rick Wayde

Event organiser, Steve Reeves acknowledged Wests Leagues Club, Campbelltown, course manager Mr Ty Foster, the green keepers', catering and bar staff and Wests Magpies volunteers for making the day such a success. Prizes were donated by Wests Ashfield, Wests Tigers and NSW Rugby League. High quality trophies were presented to the four winners, NTP, longest and shortest drive. The trophies, which were of outstanding quality, were donated by Mr Bob Moir.'

On behalf of Wests Magpies, I would like to thank all of the hole sponsors and individual players for attending the day. All proceeds will be used to assist in the development of our up and coming rugby league players.

Yours in sport,

Steve Reeves

Friday, September 26, 2014

Western Suburbs Board Statement: General Manager's Position

The Western Suburbs Magpies Board would like to announce that Leo Epifania has been appointed the General Manager Football Operations effective as of Tuesday 30th September.

Leo will be General Manager Football Operations for the Western Suburbs Magpies for season 2015 and beyond.

Wests would like to thank all the applicants who provided a very high standard in their presentations.

Western Suburbs DRLFC is moving into a new era with four major teams competing in NSWRL competitions.

The board believes that Leo has the grounding and background to make these teams competitive and effective going forward.

Western Suburbs would like to thank Mr Steve Reeves and Mr Bob Cairns for their unwavering work over the last season in all things football.

It will be a great loss that these two gentlemen are relinquishing their roles and moving on to new beginnings, and we wish them well.

On behalf of the Board of Directors

Mick Liubinskas

Congratulations to East Campbelltown

Western Suburbs Magpies congratulate Easts Campbelltown on making this year’s NSWRL Sydney Shield Grand Final, we wish them luck and thank them for their support and partnership throughout 2014.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Junior Representative Applications Now Open for 2015

Applications are now OPEN for players who wish to trial for the Western Suburbs Magpies and SWSAS 2015 Harold Matthews Cup and SG Ball Junior Representative Teams.

The trials will be held on Saturday, October 11th at Kirkham Park Camden.
Applications close Tuesday 7th October 2014 and trials are by invitation only.

Sending in an application form does not guarantee a spot in the trial.

Details of successful players, trial times/teams and other relevant information will be posted on the Wests Magpies website on Thursday, October 9th at

Players interested in trialling need to fill in and return the application form which is available by Clicking Here

Application forms should be sent via email to

Media Statement: General Manager Interviews

I am pleased to announce that the interviews for the position of General Manager, Football Operations, Wests Magpies has been completed.

We followed a formal process where each of the persons interviewed was given the opportunity to present their case and ask questions.

The selection panel will now meet to select the preferred applicant based on a range of criteria.

Once this is done, a recommendation will be made to the Board, Wests Ashfield before being formalised at Wests Magpies Board meeting on 24 September 2014.

The successful applicant will be informed of their appointment on Thursday 25 September 2014.

The selection will be based on the person we consider is best to take the club forward.

I thank all who applied for this position.

Yours in sport,

Stephen Reeves
General Manager

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Wests Tigers Coach Decision

Wests Tigers has made the decision not to renew the contract of Head Coach Mick Potter.

Wests Tigers Board and management would like to thank Mick Potter for the professional manner in which he has conducted himself as Head Coach for the past two years. The Club acknowledges that this was often under difficult circumstances.

This has been a difficult decision for everyone involved but one that the Club believes is in the best interests of a successful future for Wests Tigers. Clearly there will be many disappointed fans as, to his credit, Mick has developed a strong following here. However, we ask that you trust that we have made this decision in the interests of a stronger, unified club, following a rigorous and fair process.

Mick Potter had been given three opportunities over the past six weeks to address the Board and present his vision and plan for Wests Tigers going forward. Taking this into account, the Wests Tigers Board and management agree that a fresh approach is needed and the Club will immediately begin a process to identify leading candidates for the role.

The newly appointed Head Coach will be given complete control over the appointment of all key football staff and his playing roster.

The Board and management of Wests Tigers would like to thank Mick Potter for his work over the past two years, and for the professional manner which he has conducted himself.

Wests Tigers are undergoing concurrent recruitment processes for two positions, General Manager of Football Operations and now NRL Head Coach. We have been impressed with a number of outstanding candidates for the General Manager of Football Operations position and this role, along with the Board and CEO, will guide Wests Tigers into the future.

The Club plans to have in place a new Head Coach no later than October 27, ahead of the start of the pre-season on November 3.

Grant Mayer, CEO.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Harold Matthews Relay

Last Saturday saw a stirring NRL Qualifying Final, with a team from Western Sydney, wearing black and white, beating the Roosters.

The Panthers, though, weren't the only team from the west in black and white on display, with our junior Magpies on show in the Harold Matthews Relay!

Our boys acquitted themselves with aplomb, showing plenty of speed across the board in finishing third overall.

Many thanks to Darren Moon for capturing the boys on camera!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Junior Rep Presentation Night Awards

The next generation of black and white recently held their presentation night at Wests Campbelltown.

Congratulations to our SG Ball award winners Ray Stone and Mason Cerruto, who were presented their awards by Magpie junior and Wests Tigers winger David Nofoaluma!

Our SG Ball side finished 12th this season, with three wins, one draw and five losses, the highlight being a 44-4 thumping of Manly in round two.

Our congratulations also go to our Harold Matthews award winners Kereti Tautailefua and Trent Peoples, who were presented their awards by Magpie junior and Wests Tigers forward Suasao Sue!

Our Harold Matts team finished 11th this season, agonisingly short of a finals appearance after finishing with four wins and five losses, the best of which was a 60-6 belting of Illawarra in round eight.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Ron Massey Cup Player of the Year: Dayne Craig

In a more than thoroughly deserved outcome, Magpies hooker Dayne Craig was last night named the NSWRL Ron Massey Cup Player of the Year at the NSWRL Gala Dinner at Curzon Hall, Marsfield.

Dayne played every one of our 22 regular season games this season, using the two bye weeks to step up to the NSW Cup with the Wests Tigers.

Dayne also led our pointscoring charts with a mammoth 210 points, courest of 14 tries and 77 goals, finishing second on the Ron Massey Cup pointscorers list.

Dayne also took out the Leagues Club Player of the Year at the Magpies' recent presentation night.

Congratulations Danger on your well earned award!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Go appointed as Wests Tigers Chair

The newly announced Wests Tigers Board met for the first time tonight and has appointed Marina Go as the Club’s Chair.

Currently CEO of Private Media, Go has a wealth of experience within the media and will lead the Board, which also consists of Rosemary Sinclair, Lucio Di Bartolomeo, Simon Cook, Tony Andreacchio, Danny Stapleton and James Myatt.

As well as the appointment of Go as Chair, the Club’s Head Coaching position for 2015 was a discussion point and a clear process was put in place going forward.

Current Wests Tigers Coach Mick Potter is now scheduled to meet with the Board later this week.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Finals Week One - Ron Massey Cup - Match Review

Guildford ended Western Suburbs’ season last Sunday at McCredie Park, winning a physical, thrilling encounter 24-20.

Guildford opened the scoring after four minutes, the home side taking advantage of a Magpie error to spread the ball wide, Harmony Hunt crashing his way over despite the Wests cover defence. Jason Gray was unsuccessful with the conversion attempt, the Owls hitting a 4-0 lead early.

The Magpies responded after 18 minutes of play, Sam Aiga’s  short ball putting Daniel Abou-Sleiman away down the touchline, Abou-Sleiman regathering his own kick after Jason Gray was unable to handle near his own line. Dayne Craig was successful with the conversion from alongside the uprights, the Magpies ahead 6-4 after 20 minutes.

Rather than look to settle the play, Wests continued to explore their options, Dayne Craig choosing to run rather than kick on the last before offloading for Sam Aiga, who crashed through Jason Gray to touch down. The golden touch did not continue for Craig, the conversion swinging wide to leave the Magpies’ lead at 10-4 after 24 minutes.

It was yet more expansive football on the final tackle which saw Western Suburbs notch their third try at the 34th minute, Trent Jennings going to the line on the fifth tackle and slipping a short ball for Tom Morrison, the offload finding Tala Mapesone who dove over. Craig swung the kick across the face, the Magpies ahead 14-4.

Guildford needed to score to stay in touch and they did so in the final minute, Bevan French wrapping around his winger to touch down by the narrowest of margins. Jason Gray sprayed the kick wide, and at halftime, Wests led the Owls 14-8.

Guildford opened the second half scoring with a jinking try to halfback John Brady after Guildford regathered a bomb put down by Wests. Jason Gray nailed the kick from next to the sticks, and the scores were knotted at 14 just four minutes into the second half.

Guildford cut through from the restart, John Brady backing up to go over the line, only to somehow be held up by Nu Akeripa, who came from the clouds to execute a tackle which was nothing short of miraculous.

Guildford hit the lead after being the beneficiary of a dreadful missed knock on call, John Brady threading the needle for Dylan McKeown to score. Jason Gray needed the assistance of the right post, but he added the extras to put the Owls ahead 20-14 after 52 minutes.

Wests refused to be pushed around and, with Guildford’s markers on the back foot through some fast play the balls, Dayne Craig scooted 15 metres through the Guildford defence to grab Wests’ fourth of the day. Craig converted his own try, and the scores were again level, 20-20 after 56 minutes.

Guildford finally found a way through the Magpie line, but needed a pass which was marginal at best to put Shane Hunt away down the left. Jason Gray, from less than a metre in from touch, sprayed the kick across the face, the Owls heading into the final eight minutes ahead 24-20.

Wests looked to have lost their final chance as Guildford dove on a kick, but Dayne Craig stole the ball one on one for one last raid. However, Damian Briscoe ruled a double movement against Tom Satterthwaite to end the game, Guildford successful 24-20.

GUILDFORD 24 (Harmony Hunt, Bevan French, John Brady, Dylan McKeown, Shane Hunt tries; Jason Gray 2 from 5) defeated WESTERN SUBURBS 20 (Daniel Abou-Sleiman, Sam Aiga, Tala Mapesone, Dayne Craig tries; Dayne Craig 2 from 4)

Penalties: Wests 5 Guildford 6

Halftime: Wests 14 Guildford 8


25. Daniel Abou-Sleiman
2. Tala Mapasone
5. Jerome Mose
1. Sam Aiga
14. Tom Satterthwaite
6. Trent Jennings
4. Nu Akeripa
12. Mason Talolua
9. Dayne Craig
10. Tunui Maurangi
11. Tom Morrison
3. Rusty Bristow
13. Luke Williams

8. Fred Tevago
15. Jacob Folent
16. Ronnie Palumbo
22. Cruise Iosefa


1. Shane Hunt
2. Jason Gray
3. Harmony Hunt
4. Leslie Ngaluafe
19. Fou Tagiilima
15. Bevan French
7. John Brady
16. Paula Kaufusi
9. Ben Ellis
10. Casey Ellis
11. Dylan Mckeown
12. Chris Saab
13. Luke Fahey

8. Jared Clark
17. Paul Tuigamala
20. Craig Field
21. Mitch Burt

Friday, September 5, 2014

Wests Tigers Statement on the Joint Venture Board

Outgoing Chairman Statement - Brighter Future for Wests Tigers

Wests Tigers outgoing Board members are leaving the Club with an important blueprint for the future as they hand over to a restructured Board.

“Long running uncertainty over our finances previously made it difficult to propose the way ahead, but the Board has projected better times ahead following the release of secured funding from Wests Ashfield Leagues Club and the NRL,” said most recent Chairman, Mike Bailey.

“The lack of financial backing from Balmain Tigers and persistent delays in securing promised governance reform and additional capital from the League has created difficulties this year.

“However, the Board has been united in addressing numerous issues including the retention of Balmain and Wests juniors like Luke Brooks, Mitchell Moses, James Tedesco, David Nofoaluma and others.

“We also have approved a range of important structural changes to improve all aspects of Wests Tigers’ longer-term operations, despite facing recent criticism for certain matters over which we have had little direct control,” Mr Bailey said.

Mr Bailey said that the long-running dispute with former coach, Tim Sheens had been settled to allow a smooth transition for the incoming Board.

“Those leaving the Board also insisted that the Club’s commitment to south-west Sydney be given increased attention, with the region producing one of our best match attendances for the 15th anniversary clash against Brisbane," Mr Bailey said.

“Junior development programs for Wests Tigers embrace one of the largest areas of any Sydney-based NRL team, and the Board has delivered on fulfilling the demands of that enormous task.”

In other developments over the past year, the Board has:
  • Overseen the re-signing of key sponsors including Meriton, Moment Media and Allied Express, with new arrangements secured with XCast and iProsperity
  • Ensured continued development across the Club’s large footprint through staff and player engagements with community programs against bullying; boosting reading levels for students; and re-establishing links with the Kids of Macarthur organisation
  • Supported one of our own through a successful function to provide necessary additional financial support to Simon Dwyer
  • Backed staff initiatives which have increased Membership numbers and attracted supporters both to games including a series of special events designed to increase their involvement with the team.
Mr Bailey said that retiring Board members had completed numerous achievements to benefit the club without making headlines.

“Past differences between groups formerly on the Board were put to bed some time ago and our efforts have been strongly united since agreeing early last year to begin negotiations with the League over finances and structural changes," Mr Bailey said

“We are leaving the Club in strong hands to deliver an exciting future for our players, corporate backers, staff, members and supporters and we welcome the new Board comprising Rosemary Sinclair, Lucio Di Bartolomeo, Marina Go, Tony Andreacchio and Simon Cook."

New Director Biographies

Rosemary Sinclair –  A member of the Australian Communications and Media Authority and has an extensive background in senior telecommunications roles.

Lucio Di Bartolomeo – The Chairman of Macquarie Generation and Non-Executive Director of Australian Rail Tack Corporation. Lucio has previously been in charge of NSW’s rail and bus services.

Marina Go – The CEO at Private Media who will soon take up the role of General Manager of Hearst Bauer Media. Marina has had an extensive career in publishing and media roles, particularly relating to magazines.

Western Suburbs RMC 2014 Award Winners

Jeff 'Swinging Doors' Aplitt
2014 Pratten Park Magpies Clubman of the Year

Jeff commenced his association with Wests Magpies in 1957 when he played rugby league for Auburn United at the D grade level before progressing to A grade. He was a handy player who was somewhat unique in that era; he never consumed alcohol. Jeff recounts that after each game the players would be given a bottle of beer and as he did not drink his allocation was keenly sought by his team mates.

In 1962 he joined Wests Magpies Football Club for the princely sum of 10 shillings. In 1987 he commenced duties with Wests Magpies who were competing at the NRL Level. Since then he was worked closely with Steve Ghosn, Laurie Frier, John Bailey Warren Ryan, Wayne Ellis Tom Raudonikis, Bob Lindner, Steve Georgallis, John Dorahy, Pet Gentle, Tim Sheens, Wayne Pearce, Terry Lamb Michael Potter and most recently Leo Epifania.

In addition to our elite teams, he has also assisted with our 1st Division, Premier League, NSW Cup, Ron Massey Cup, Metropolitan Cup, Jersey Flegg, SG Ball, Harold Mathews and various Development squads.

As a manager, he mentored many of our up and coming junior rugby league players who went on to participate in the elite NRL competition. They include, but are not limited to Bryce Gibbs, Liam Fulton, Luke Cavell, Albert Hopoate, Tom Arbour, David Spencer, Mick Neil, Ossie Osborne, Shannon Gallant, Ben Roberts, Isaac De Gois, Rocky Trimarchi, Chris Lawrence and Terry Matterson.

The roles, whilst varied, put to good use his organisational and inter personal skills. They include, but are not limited to:

· Coach, Team Manager or Assistant Manager.

· Change Room and Door Attendant

· Ground Manager, Gear Steward, Time Keeper and Sin Bin Official

· Merchandise and Gate Sales

· Junior League Secretary

Jeff simply rolls up his sleeves and gets on with the job, never a word of complaint. We are lucky to have a man of such quality and integrity representing the Magpies. Jeff never seeks personal reward. He is one of the first to put up his hand when Wests Magpies organise fundraising events. He financially contributes to our golf days and other initiatives. He uses his own vehicle to travel to games and training, the running costs would have certainly added up over such a long period.

When given the opportunity, Jeff proudly talks about the history and culture of Wests Magpies and the many great players it has produced. If all of this wasn’t enough, Jeff also works as a game day official at Wests Tigers. I am sure you would agree that we could not have a better ambassador working with our joint venture partner.

Jeff’s strong character ensures he does not take short cuts; he has always put the game of rugby league first. As he often quotes “Rugby League, The Greatest Game.” How did he get the nickname of ‘Swinging Doors’? Well it was given to him by BBQ Bob Murray many years ago. Why? Perhaps it was because he worked on the door at Wests Tigers on game days letting people in and out of the rooms. We will probably never the true reason.

He is a Life Member, Auburn United JRL, Wests Magpies Ashfield, Wests Magpies Campbelltown, Wests Magpies District RLFC, Balmain JRL and a Director, Western Suburbs District Junior Rugby League Football Club.

Congratulations to Mr Jeff Aplitt, the recipient of the 2014 Pratten Park Magpies Club Person of the Year.

Wests Magpies Ron Massey Cup 2014 

Bill Carson Award for Best performed local in grade 

John Donnelly Award for Best Forward 

Rookie of the Year 

Alan Ridley Memorial Award for Most tries in grade 
Dayne CRAIG 

Jack Ashley Memorial Award for Most consistent performer 

Bobby Fisher Memorial Award for Commitment to training and game preparation. 
Jerome MOSE 

Best and Fairest Player 

Major Award - Leagues Club Player of the Year 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Finals Week One - Ron Massey Cup - Team List

Western Suburbs will face Guildford on Sunday 7 September in an elimination final in the Ron Massey Cup.

Kick-off: 3.30pm

Referee: Damian Briscoe