Western Suburbs Squad 1989

Back Row: Allen Geelan, Dave Woods, Ian Schubert, Steve Funnell, Dave Gallagher, Craig Teitzel, Ian Freeman, Nick Stevanovic, Jason Stafford, Danny Peacock
Third Row: Steve McCoy, Brendon Tuuta, Garry Schofield, Stuart Raper, Trevor Cogger, Shane Flanagan
Second Row: Dennis Reagan (Head Trainer), Kelvin Skerrett, Gary Bukowski, Brett Docherty, Graham Mackay, Alan Fallah, Ian Howcroft, Mick McKinnon, Pat O’Doherty, Tony Muller, Dale Hall, Jason Lidden, Des Allan (Head Conditioner)
Front Row: Randall Barge (Assistant Coach), Doug Rawlings, Richard Smith, Cameron Blair, John Bailey (Head Coach), Ellery Hanley, Chris Blair, Wayne Simonds, Michael Gould, Robert Stone (Reserve Grade Coach)
Ball Boys: Jason Di Michael, Ryan Morris

1989 can only be categorised as the “Coming of Ellery” The impact of the three English imports, Kelvin Skerret (Bradford), Garry Schofield (Leeds) and Ellery Hanley (Wigan) cannot be overestimated. Widely regarded as the best player in the world, Hanley’s decision to come to Wests immediately impacted crowd sizes but also injected a level of professionalism and a newfound confidence in recruiting. Players wanted to be at Wests. Although there was only moderate on-field success (they fell away after winning five of their first six games), the off-field buzz lifted the spirits of the club and provided some confidence in its future.

There was, once again, a roundabout of personnel. It was a completely new-look side. John Allanson (Newcastle), Brett Gale (North Sydney), Gary McFarlane (Balmain), Graham Mackay (Bradford), Ian Freeman (Barrow) and Scott Tronc (Brisbane) all transferred. In their place came Shane Flanagan and Steve Funnell from St George, Shane Leigh (Illawarra), Pat O’Doherty (Ipswich), Stuart Raper (Cronulla), Richard Smith (Norths) and Brendon Tuuta from New Zealand. Two important debuts were from Darren Britt and Brett Docherty.

Pat O’Doherty was one of the star recruits in 1989

Cameron Blair added to last season’s honours by being runner-up in the prestigious Rothman’s Medal. Brendon Tuuta was selected in the New Zealand team, while Shaun Devine made the NSW U19s and the very young future First-Graders, Jason Taylor and Jamie Ainscough, were both selected in the Australian Schoolboys side. Stalwarts Allen Geelan and Ian Schubert both announced their retirements at the end of the season.

The headlines read “…And God created Ellery” 
Ellery Hanley on debut at Orana Park against South Sydney

Scroll to Top