Redcliffe's
Mr Football

Mr Football Brian Winney Brian was born and raised in the St George district, he started his football career with one of the oldest clubs in Sydney, Arncliffe Scots. As a youngster Brian also had a few years playing that other game Rugby Union as well as Rugby League. Brian joined the St.George Dragons as a 16 year old and spent the next two years playing in the Jersey Flegg and Presidents Cup competitions learning his trade. In 1966 after the Presidents Cup season had finished Brian was promoted to third grade and played in the winning St. George third grade premiership. In the next year Brian was again promoted this time to reserve grade and the next step was naturally first grade. The 18 year old Brian Winney was aspiring to play first grade with the Dragons when they were the Club everybody wanted to play for they had just won eleven first grade titles in a row but standing in his way was the current Australian test half back Billy Smith. Still Brian went on to play four first grade games with St.George while Smith was away playing with the New South Wales and Australian sides, which wasn?t too bad for an 18 year old. At the end of the season Brian could see the writing on the wall with the current test half at his club standing in his way, he reluctantly asked for a transfer and was refused. But he appealed to the New South Wales Rugby League and won. Brian then transferred to the Parramatta club to a side that looked good on paper but just couldn?t click on the field. Brian played three years in first grade with the Eels and then thought he was ready for another change and thought about a move to Queensland but business kept him in Sydney. Brian then moved on to the Western Suburbs club and formed a very successful combination with another up and coming youngster who would go onto bigger things in the game. The combination of Brian Winney at half back and Tommy Raudonikis at five-eighth spearheaded the Magpies to a successful 1971 season. All started well again in 1972 but then Raudonikis was selected for Australia ??.. at half back. When Raudonikis returned to his club side he immediately went back to five-eighth but by the end of the season Tommy was at half back and Brian was out of a job. Once again Brian cast his eye to Queensland and this time made the move he stopped off at Lang Park and left his card and shortly after Redcliffe came a calling and the then Football Club manager Don McLennan made possibly his most valuable signing for the Redcliffe club. One of the things that drew Brian to Redcliffe was the chance to be coached by one of his idols Barry Muir. Brian played for the Dolphins from 1973 until1976. In that time he played in two first grade grand finals for Redcliffe in 1973 against Valleys and 1975 vs Wests unfortunately losing both. In total he played in over fifty first grade games. That was an achievement in itself with the number of quality half backs Redcliffe had on its books at the time with the likes of Chris Anderson, Ernie Edwards, Eddie Roberts (Michael?s dad), Geoff Russell and the Henrick brothers Allan and Ross. Despite an impressive playing CV I think Brian?s biggest contribution to our club was off the field. In 1976 Brian started his first stint working at the Club when he was the fulltime assistant to Football Club manager Don McLennan, some of Brian?s duties included running bingo sessions for the club and helping Barry Muir conduct coaching courses for people in the Redcliffe area which included Caboolture, Kilcoy and Woodford. Up until 1976 the QRL had no coaching accreditation courses available, so to become qualified one would have to do it by correspondence with the New South Wales Rugby League. The Redcliffe club aware of its growth at the senior and junior level and the lack of qualified coaches they got permission from the QRL to deal directly with the New South Wales League. Two people in Queensland were qualified immediately Queensland coach Barry Muir and Brian Winney. In the first year 80 coaches acquired their certificates in that group was the first female school teacher to qualify Elaine McWha and some guy who went on to do a bit of coaching named Wayne Bennett. In 1977 Brian coached the clubs third grade side but I think it?s fair to say his biggest contribution to the club has been in the junior ranks where for the last 25 years he has coached and refereed more junior games than I can count. In that time he has also been the Zone Chairman, our clubs referee co-ordinator, Coaching co-ordinator, junior representative coach and selector. And as well as all that for many years he has been a senior selector for the Brisbane side, Queensland Rangers and Queensland Residents sides. In 1994 Brian was awarded the highest honour the club can give when it gave him life membership to the football club. Brian isn?t the only good judge of football in his family, his wife Lorraine has won the Redcliffe Herald weekly tipping competition several times. Brian and Lorraine live at Kippa-Ring and have two sons Ryan and Troy who were both handy sportsman as kids and a daughter Sharon who is a nationally renowned dancer.

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