Long time supporter and past official of the Sherwood and Western Magpies Football Clubs, Allan Grentell, passed away late last week.
Allan served on the Sherwood committee for several years in the late 1980s and is the father of past Sherwood junior player Andrew Grentell and Western Magpies past captain and dual premiership coach Paul Grentell
Alan hailed from Wagga Wagga where he played at 16 years old as a full forward in Turvey Park's first ever Senior premiership in 1961 and then in another flag in 1963 and also represented the then powerful Riverina based South-Western District League, which won the Victorian Country Championships in 1964.
Alan represented the league for a number of years and was regarded as one of the best players to play for the Wagga based Bulldogs.
He was a fast leading full forward in the days when you didn't need to be 186 cm tall. He was a long and accurate kick and was regarded as a fine exponent of the torpedo punt.
After playing in two Turvey Park flags he crossed to East Wagga who were then in the Central Riverina League as Assistant-Coach and played in the club's first ever premiership in 1966. He also had a stint with Collingullie in the Farrer League (there were 3 leagues based in and around Wagga in those days).
Allan moved his family to Brisbane in the late 1970s as both his boys Andrew and Paul suffered from respiratory illnesses and he thought the warmer climate would be better for them.
He didn't take long to find a footy club and joined Sherwood and was Chairman of Selectors for the Seniors in a premiership year in 1982.
Both his boys played junior football at Sherwood and Allan was a team manager and joined the junior committee in the mid 1980s, serving as Treasurer in 1987.
When Paul played at Western Districts in the mid 1990s, Allan was a Team Manager, always willing to help out and support his sons in their football endeavours.
He was around and about when the Western Magpies formed in 1999 and supported the likes of Des Lashman, Matt Vowles and Geoff Jennings as a Team Manager as the Black and Whites returned to Senior Football.
He also managed the Queensland Country Football team in the Australian Country Championships in 2000 where several Magpies played, namely Scott Hedley, Michael Blackmore, Dean Parkin, Brad Williams and Matt Taylor. It was fitting that the championships were in Wagga and Allan enjoyed catching up with many old friends and foes during the carnival. His son Paul missed the trip due to suffering a broken leg on the eve of the carnival.
Allan is survived by his ex-wife Maureen and sons Andrew and Paul and families.
Allan's funeral will be held on Thursday, February 11th at 11 am at Centenary Gardens, Wacol Station Rd, Sumner and thereafter at Sherwood AFC at Chelmer.
From Riverina Football League Website:
Once again this year we are running the popular feature Blast from the Past. We will endeavour to cover as vast a cross section as possible across the Riverina and we trust that you find it interesting reading. This week we feature a player who starred with Turvey Park in the early 60's. Today we revive the career of former Turvey Park full forward, Allan Grentell.
Name: Allan Grentell
Details of Playing / Coaching Career: Played with Turvey Park winning two premierships in 1961 and 1963. Also had a stint with East Wagga and won there first ever premiership and was assistant coach. Also had stints with Collingullie and East Sydney. Had a pre season trial with Footscray in the VFL and Sturt in Adeleaide.
Awards / Medals Received: Runner Up in League Goalkicking on 5 occasions. Played for both the South West and Farrer Leagues.
Favourite Playing Position: Full forward
Most Respected Opponents: Vic Hathaway (Griffith) and Geoff Parmenter (Ganmain)
Best Player Seen: Graham Ion and Greg Hardie
AFL Club I Follow: Carlton.
Current Occupation: Retired in Sydney
Where do you see local AFL heading in the future: Don't get back to Wagga that often so I can't comment on the local competition down there. The standard in the local Sydney competition is terrible.
Allan Grentell played almost all of his footy from full forward. During his very distinguished career he was successful in three premiership sides with Turvey Park (two) and one with East Wagga. He was a laconic player who was at his very best when leading straight up the ground to receive the footy from his on ball team mates. He was a very consistent player and this was testament to him coming runner up on five occasions in league goal kicking awards. From an early age it was evident that Allan was going to have a successful career in Australian Football and he continued to kick plenty of goals over many years. Allan played during the "old" days when you went back and had your kick after taking a mark - there was not the play on at all costs like today. He thrived in that atmosphere and carved out a successful niche during his time in the Riverina. Some of Allan's team mates during his Turvey Park days were Barry Conway, Noel Morrow, Robbie Nolan, Rex Burge and Jack Keating. There was no finer sight in Australian Football during the sixties then to see Allan Grentell go back at slot a torpedo through from sixty out. You don't see sights like that today. Allan doesn't get back home that often these days as he is domiciled in Sydney. Still if you are talking to him shake his hand and tell him that you enjoyed his Blast from the Past.