The Sub Committee has now made contact with all living past players and are now awaiting a start date for the 2018 Woodbridge Cup for formal arrangements to be concluded. Many have now discovered the Canowindra Phoenix and the Canowindra community has a proud record unearthing ex Internationals as Rex Norman, Joe Jorgensen and Ron Boden as Captain/Coaches.
Jorgenson has captained Australia and Boden was one of the few players ever to represent NSW and QLD. Many other top liners were Ron Beaumont who returned to Manly Warringah to First Grade, Greg Hay captain/coached both Riverina and Western Division in consecutive years, Reg McCulla another Riverina Captain Coach, Clyde Cant who came from Gerringong and moved on to Canberra.
Canowindra produced such players as Tom Clyburn who was a household name in the Central West in the 1920’s, 30’s and 40’s. Clyburn held point scoring records in Groups 10, 11 and 15 from time to time. Ken Thurtell who in 1940 travelled almost 2000 miles during the season playing rep football and after making Country Firsts missed selection for NSW.
Ken Slattery also made Country Firsts but missed NSW selection. Slattery later coached Parramatta First Grade. As an Under 19 Peter Fitzgerald left Canowindra to play First Grade with St George and Eastern Suburbs. He captain/coached Port Kembla to a premiership in the Illawarra League.
Billy Hilton captained Country Seconds and was offered a contract at Balmain. Trevor Simpson was a member of the Western Division that won the AMCO Cup in 1974. Fitzgerald, Simpson and Hilton were all members of the victorious 1968 Under 18 team. There were many other notables whose names will be recalled over the next few months.
As part of the Canowindra Football Club Centenary celebrations choosing a best ever team of Canowindra players will be a nightmare. My only automatic selection would be Tom Clyburn. When he was a youngster, as a visitor, he trained with Eastern Suburbs. He was then selected in Third Grade, Reserve Grade in week 2 and in the third week he was asked by Club Officials if he would be available for First Grade he declined and replied that he had to go home to Canowindra as his home town was defending the Jack Hore Gold Cup that weekend.
Yours in Rugby League.