The 1970's saw the Williamstown Football Club return to the top flight of the VFA after its grand final success in Division Two in the previous year. With high hopes of retaining their place in the league for the following season, no one would have believed how it eventually panned out. Williamstown became the first club to come from the second division and compete in the following years Division One grand final where they unfortunately fell to Prahran. The following year the club was dealt a major blow as Max Papley called time on his playing career due to a recurring injury, although he would still continue on as coach. Without Papley's presence on-field the club was left languishing down the bottom of the table
The following year was turned on its head with Papley returning to the field from retirement, as the Seagulls soared up the ladder only to eventually fall in the preliminary final. The following two seasons (1973 & 1974) saw the club battle away in Division One under new leadership finishing mid-table and never looking in contention for finals. A severe blow was dealt in 1975 as once again Williamstown were sent down to Division Two after a disappointing season that resulted in just four wins.
In an attempt to look at the relegation in a positive light, the club looked towards the season as one for the club to regroup and regain confidence by being a force in Division Two. Such was the case that the club came into the finals in a respectable third place but severe underdogs to take out the cup. Through prevailing in some tough, grueling and tightly contested first two finals, the last day of the year was one to remember as Williamstown triumphed over Mordialloc by 57 points.
A disappointing contrast occurred as the club re-entered the top flight of VFA football with the rise coming as quick as the fall, with fans only able to celebrate two wins for the whole year and would therefore be following their team around in Division Two the next year. 1978 & 1979 followed, with the club finishing a disappointing 9th and 4th in the two seasons respectively.
Season by Season Summaries
|Year||President||Coach||Captain||Best & Fairest||Leading Goalkicker|
|1970||Arthur Johnson||Max Papley||Max Papley||Kevin Jackman||Dallas Patterson (72)|
|1971||Arthur Johnson||Max Papley||Max Papley||Brian Harvey||Bob Svoronich (54)|
|1972||Arthur Johnson||Max Papley||Max Papley||Les Stillman||Mick Mulligan (75)|
|1973||Norman Bernard||Barry Gill||Barry Gill||Les Stillman||Les Stillman (37)|
|1974||Bill Dey||Barry Gill||Barry Gill||John Fanning||Glenn Townsend (48)|
|1975||Tony Arceri||Ted Whitten||
|Michael Kelly||Robert Fox (40)|
|1976||Rex Swann||Mal Allen||Mal Allen||Bob Percy||Michael Brown (67)|
|1977||Des Luckhurst||Mal Allen||Mal Allen||Frank Pocervina||Brian Lowe (45)|
|1978||Sid Wookey||John Fanning||John Fanning||Laurie Taylor||Greg Boxall (32)|
|1979||Sid Wookey||Merv Hobbs||Mark Cross||Neil Courtot||Paul John (59)|
|Year||Reserves B&F||Thirds B&F||Fourths B&F||
|1970||Garry Fitch||Phil Humphries||Jim Hynes||Rex Swann||Alex Bell|
|1971||John James/ Graham Salter||Ron Gordon||Graham Dean||J. James||Rex Swann||Alex Bell|
|1972||Tad Joniec||Keith Robson||Neil Kerss||John Grieve||Bob Cairncross|
|1973||Robert Scott||Rodney Walker||John Dean||John Grieve||Bob Cairncross|
|1974||Richard Radziminski||Gary O'Donovan||Eddie Messina||Les Dooley||Bob Cairncross|
|1975||Peter Gardiner||Neville Kerss||Graham Dean||Ron Page||Bill Pride||Leo Schultz|
|1976||Bruce Wookey||Laurie Taylor||Bill Pride||George Smith|
|1977||Tony McVeigh||Craig Eldridge||Bill Pride||George Smith|
|1978||Johnny Coyne||Kelvyn Lavelle||Damien Martin||'Junior' Jackson||Rob Harding|
|1979||Jeff Dean||Phil Chapman||'Junior' Jackson||Rob Harding|
Competition Award Winners
1970 Western Suburbs League Under 16's (Fourth's) Best & Fairest - Jim Hynes
1972 Western Suburbs League Under 16's (Fourth's) Best & Fairest - Glenn Hancock
1976 Division Two Best & Fairest - J. Field Trophy - Colin Boyd
1978 VFA Thirds Competition goalkicking award - Phil Chapman (129)
1979 VFA Thirds Competition Best & Fairest - F. Gomez Medal - Phil Chapman
1976 Premiership team.
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