Many champions were cleared from the Maroons to other clubs Subiaco's Cast-offs
The first few weeks of every foot
ball season is an anxious period for club selectors. Young players, keen to have a try-out with their district league club, flock to the training oval and by their handling and kicking of the ball do their utmost to catch the eyes of the selectors and gain a place in the league
Until the wheat is sorted from the tares, - 60 or 70 players are often out training together and the narrowing down to convenient training lists of those offering is something of a selector's nightmare.
One club that knows this to its cost is Subiaco. The Maroons have let slip through their fingers some of the best players that ever pulled on a guernsey, more champions, probably, than all the other clubs combined.
Subiaco's long and sorry chapter of clearance misfortunes commenced with the release of centre man "Digger" Thomas-father of East Perth's Ritchie Thomas-to East Perth in 1915. The club won the premiership that year but did not win again for nine years.
"Digger" Thomas was not lost because his qualities as a footballer were not known. Dis- trict football was not in vogue in those days and in the matter of clearances a fair amount of jug- gling went on.
Although not a good kick "Digger" Thomas was a leading centreman of his day and his tussles with Hast Fremantle's "Nipper" Truscott were memorable encounters. Thomas played with East Fremantle for one season-1917-and then went back to East Perth a year before Matson was won over from Subiaco in the great rebuild- ing campaign which led to East Perth winning five premierships in a row. Thomas was a mem- ber, of the 1914 carnival team, the 1921 carnival team which won in Perth, and the 1924 team which was sensationally and narrowly defeated at " Hobart. He won the Sandover Medal in 1923.
. Matson, regarded by many as the best foot " faller and coach ever produced in W.A., was
probably Subiaco's greatest loss. Had he been retained by the Maroons who knows but that -the whole course of football history in this State might have been changed.
Matson Makes East Perth
TO Matson goes most of the credit for the East
Perth team's devástating system in attack. Although then past his prime he placed himself on the forward line where he directed operations and was mainly responsible for the Blues winning their first premiership.
It was Matson, too, who in 1921 coached the W.A. team to its narrow carnival victory. The extent of his loss to Subiaco was almost immeasurable.
In Matson's last year with Subiaco a youngster named.Len Cinoris joined the crowd at Subiaco oval looking for a game.
Although he was raw he was keen and strong and there was that indefinable something about him denoting latent football ability that attracted the attention of Matson. Taking young Cinoris
aside he told him the, fundamentals of Australian rules and advised him how to model his game.
Unfortunately for Subiaco Matson's discern- ment did not extend to the club. It was looking for players of polish and finesse, not a lumber- ing recruit with more rough edges than a lump of limestone straight from the quarry.
So Len Cinoris, disappointed but not discour- aged after one season with Subiaco during which he played a few games went off to try his luck at East Fremantle.
The rest is history. Cinoris became one of the best followers East Fremantle ever had. He played in the 1921 . carnival in Perth and was selected for Hobart in 1924. Unfortunately on the eve of departure he became ill and was unable to make the trip.
Cinoris was the bullocking, tireless, type and was a contemporary of Tom Outridge, who, in- cidentally, failed to make much of an impression with Perth when he first played league football and was cleared to Subiaco in the same year that Cinoris was cleared to East Fremantle. These two old players still talk of their ruck duels in those palmy days.
Len Cinoris was more than a great footballer, he was and still is a great club man. Now in his 12th year as league delegate he is a life member and vice-president of East Fremantle club, a life member of the W.A.N.F.L. and he is also a State selector.
Many years later East Fremantle got another carnival man from Subiaco in Bob Daniells. Al- though Daniells could not get a game regularly
with Subiaco, East Fremantle persevered with the big, slow-moving man from Subiaco to such pur- pose that Daniells was chosen in the 1937 Carni-
Bob Daniells was too cumbersome to achieve much success as a ground player. The key to his success at centre half-forward was his marking ability and the understanding he developed with champion goalsneak, George Doig, coupled with an amazingly accurate drop-kicked pass.
As Doig would dash away at top speed from his marksman Daniells would deliver the ball, usually chest high and just the right distance in front of him.
Doig got hundreds of goals in his meteoric career but doubtless Doig would be the first to acknowledge that without the cooperation and assistance of Bob Daniells his record aggregate tally would have been a great deal less.
South Fremantle also gained as a result of poor judgment on the part of Subiaco selectors when the Maroons gave clearances to Bill Holt and Jim Ditchburn. There may have been some ex- cuse, for Subiaco passing over Bill Holt. He was one of those elongated, all-legs-and-arms, awk- ward players who was much better than he looked. On South's back line Holt gave the Red and Whites years of great service and if a history of
the club were ever compiled the name of Bill Holt would surely be recorded among the club's best and most reliable defenders.
Bill Holt never played interstate that I can re- member but on one occasion he was chosen in a State second eighteen to play Collingwood and won the trophy for the best player in the WA. side.
Many of today's followers of the game may not know that Jim Ditchburn started his league career with Subiaco. He is usually remembered as a star follower and half-forward for South, to which club he gave five of his best years. He
was vice-captain in 1935-6. Subiaco gave Ditch- burn a clearance to the country during the depres- sion years and when he returned to Perth raised no objection when he applied for a clearance to Souths.
Jim Ditchburn played in about 16 interstate matches and was captain of the State side which played S.A. in Perth in 1938. He was coach of Swans in 1937-8-9 and a couple of years ago coached Souths again for a short period to fill a
One of the greatest wing men the game has eyer produced in this State was Jack Guhl, who played
for East Perth in its heyday when the club won five premierships in a row. Jack Guhl was a
natural for Subiaco because his elder brother, Abe, played for the Maroons and what could be more logical than that young Jack would be keen to play in the same team as his brother.
But Subiaco said no. They thought jack Guhl was too small and scarcely without a ;trial cleared him to East Perth. As events proVed a tragic loss for Subiaco but manna from heaven for the Blues. Guhl played in the 1927, 1930
and 1933. carnival teams.
Another champion-to-be rejected by Subiaco because it was thought he was too small was
Harry Grigg. This time' it was Perth's turn to . profit by Subiaco's blunder and Grigg turned out to be one of the , best centremen ever to wear the
red and black.
Subiaco have had a few crack centres but it is doubtful if any were superior to Grigg whose Cleverness and determination gave him the call over most of those who were opposed to him. Grigg was in the 1933 carnival side.
A champion-to-be overlooked by Subiaco's tal- ent scouts was Keith Hough, who won the Sandover Medal as a half-back with Claremont in 1932. Later he became an outstanding wing man. A player with pace to burn and very sure at handling the ball Hough was chosen in the 1930 and 1933
Hough learnt the game with Subiaco Metro- politan Juniors team and had the Maroon scouts been a bit more alert it is certain that his clearance to Claremont would not have gone through.
Another State Follower
LAST, but by no means least in the list of stars
Subiaco might have had was West Perth's Don Marinko, who first played with the Maroons. Re- ceiving little encouragement Marinko was cleared to the Goldfields but soon returned to the coast and threw in his lot with West Perth, with Which club; he became a stalwart for many years before
Marinko was not only a State follower but one of the best ruck men ever 'produced in W.A. Polish is given to few followers but of Marinko it could be said that everything he did on the foot- ball field had the hallmark of class. On the Car- dinals' scroll of fame his name must be ' placed high. Marinko played in the 1933 carnival team and in many interstate matches.
Matson, Thomas, Hough, Cinoris, Daniells, Holt, Ditchburn, Guhl, Grigg, Marinko-all passed out by Subiaco, lt seerhs unbelievable but there it is, strange but true. If Subiaco ever appears to be acting cautiously at this season of the year in the matter of clearances perhaps critics will be tol- erant. The Maroons tan be excused for not want- ing the history recorded in this article repeated.
At one time or another they've, given away "half
a carnival side.