NS – Welcome to all my fans on Bowls Discussions Matter. Today I have with me Sam Clough. Sam as most of you know is an avid use of Facebook and he provides a lot of us bowlers with information about the sport. He is also a former NSW State Player, NSW State Selector for half a decade including four as Chairman and an Australian Selector for five years. What got you first interested in taking up the game?
SC – Natural progression from cricket which is also a team/individual sport.
NS – Who were the positive role models in those early months while you were learning the game?
SC- A man by the name of Barney Morris who was the President National Park Bowling Club and Caretaker of the Newcastle building where I worked.
NS – Who was there supporting your deeds on the green?
SC – Beryl who is my wife has been a wonderful supporter over the years as well as the club members of the clubs I’ve played at.
NS – How often do you get time during the week to play? Is it more working your bowls around work or the other way around?
SC – When I was working I usually started very early in the morning which was around 4am to allow me to play in the big tournaments. I’m extremely grateful for the time work has given me to excel at bowls.
NS – What sort of bowls do you use at the moment and what sort of bowls have you had in the past (if any)?
SC – Originally I owned a set of Size 7 Henselites, but now I use the SLIGHLTY smaller Size 3 Greenmaster (laughs). Can you believe there used to be Size 7’s!
NS – What did your friends and family say when you started taking up the game? Were they supportive/confused/happy that you were still being active going into later life?
SC – Some thought I should have continued my Cricket Umpiring or still played cricket but when I showed a bit of talent, most were pleased for me.
NS – Have you played representative bowls and if so who for and tell me a bit what it felt like to be selected for the team? It must’ve been an awesome experience knowing people respected your ability on the green?
SC – State selection is a big buzz but seeing young people you select, assist, semi-mentor go from strength to strength is a wonderful feeling for an old bowler like me and to be honest it gives me more satisfaction. As for seeing one’s country win 5 Gold and 2 Silver Medals from just 8 World Bowls (something which may never be emulated).
NS – What position do you usually play?
SC – Skip in pennants. Don’t care as long as happy team. “NO I IN TEAM BUT THERE ARE 2 IN IDIOT” I’m sure you haven’t heard that saying before Nathan.
NS – What’s your opinion on the state of the game in your area and in general?
SC – My Club East Cessnock is strong financially and won State No 1 Pennants in 2008 and 2010. However, we have now lost a stack of players recently and our high standard will be seriously diminished in 2016 I suspect.
NS – Do you hold any position of power at your club?
SC – I have been a Patron of my Club since 1987.
NS – What club do you play for and have you played for anyone else in the past?
SC – I have played for East Cessnock since 1977 with a contract with Maitland City from 1994 to the end of 1996.
NS – Have you met anyone on the green that youve made a lifelong friendship from and on the other side is bowls a place where enemies can be made easily do you think?
SC – I have friends aged from 8 to 100. But I do think that being a selector is a good way to lose a friend if that’s what your implying.
NS – As you have probably been aware over the last couple of weeks there has been the Adam Goodes affair. Do you think race still plays a part in sport and in particular bowls?
SC – Nathan, I am on the side of Adam Goodes’s problem NOT being racist. In my life I can easily remember Billy Boston, Vince Karalius, Mike Sullivan and Brian McTigue (all English Rugby League players), Wally Lewis, Anthony Mundine, Bob Fulton, Rick Stuart, Terry Lamb, Michael Ennis, Daly Cherry-Evans, Rodney Marsh, the whole English cricket team all my lifetime, WI fast bowler Griffith, +++++++++ all seemed to thrive on the “ordeal”. I’ve beened booed playing cricket – bowled a bit quicker.
NS – Who is the best bowler youve ever played with/against?
SC Former Australian Skip and Coach Clarrie Watkins (lucky enough to play lead for him and share Gold Medal Australian Fours and Bronze Australian Pairs.
However, many others spring to mind,
Singles: Bob King, Rob Parrella, Dennis Dalton, Frank Soars.
Later: Kelvin Kerkow, Leif Selby, Mark Casey and Brett Wilkie. Oh, and Aron Sherriff and Steve Glasson managed to blunder in to accuracy quite regularly.
I managed to beat Aron on four occasions; unfortunately two occasions were when I was playing with him.
Rex Johnston has been a friend since 1976; a wonderful player, particularly with two bowls.
Dot Roche was without peer as a lady bowler – wins over many men including David Bryant and Rob Parrella.
: Jono Davis, Ellen Ryan and Chloe Stewart could have great careers.
NS – Thank you Sam on the wonderful chat I do hope the bowling fraternity enjoys a little insight into your bowling career!