Season Summary: 2013
Recruiting was active in the off-season with the addition of delisted Western Bulldog/Brisbane Lion, Justin Sherman (138 AFL games), ruckman Cameron Wood (64 games with Brisbane and Collingwood), Brent Prismall (61 games with Geelong and Essendon), Willie Wheeler and Leigh Masters from Coburg, Jack Johnstone from Gippsland Power and Jack Dorgan from the Western Jets.
Triple Bill Sheahan Memorial Trophy winner, Matthew Cravino, departed for suburban football after seven seasons with the Club, James Wall went to Tatura, Kwame McHarg to Deer Park, while Jack Frost was drafted to Collingwood and Brett Goodes was drafted to the Bulldogs at 29 years of age after two years at Williamstown. Goodes, Frost and another ex-Seagull Dane Rampe (Sydney Swans) all debuted at AFL-level in round 1.
Essendon ended its 10-year affiliation with Bendigo and fielded its own VFL team, while Bendigo Gold continued on as a stand-alone entity. This increased the competition to 14 teams even though there were still byes.
The season opened with an eight-point loss to Geelong at Torquay, 12.16.88 to 11.14.80, after being four goals down at three-quarter time. Wheeler was best in his first game for Williamstown. The team bounced back with a 100-point win over Coburg in the year’s first home game, 24.13.157 to 8.9.57, after being just six points up in the third quarter before unleashing 17 of the last 19 goals of the match. Bulldog-listed Jake Stringer kicked five goals, while the Development League team won by 168 points earlier in the day. The second home match of the season resulted in another big win over Werribee, 19.15.129 to 5.16.46, followed by a four-goal loss at Casey.
The side then had three consecutive wins in rounds 5-7 over Collingwood at Williamstown (103-97), at Frankston (131-101) and then annihilated Bendigo at Pt Gellibrand, 30.27.207 to 5.1.31, in a percentage-booster, before losing to Port also at Pt Gellibrand (113-66). Another three successive victories in rounds 10-12 over Essendon at Williamstown (101-45, Lockwood best), where the Bombers only managed one goal in the second half to the Seagulls nine, over the Northern Blues at Carlton (84-52, Tory Dickson 4 goals, Mitch Wallis best) where the ‘Town added six goals in the final quarter, and a four-goal win at Box Hill (111-86, Dylan Addison 4 goals, Ben Jolley best) set up the season.
Two losses followed in round 13 at Sandringham (95-80, Patrick Veszpremi 3 goals, Mark Austin best) and round 14 at Port (88-19), where Williamstown’s two goals for the game both came in the first quarter. A six-goal win at Pt Gellibrand against Frankston was next, where the Seagulls were goalless in the first quarter and only 2.14 at half-time and trailing by 2 points at three-quarter time before unleashing an 8-goal last quarter to see them home comfortably. The game the next week against Collingwood at Victoria Park was similar with just a two-point differential at the last change before a six-goal final term resulted in a 35-point win to the ‘Town. Veszpremi kicked four goals, including three in the last quarter, and Jolley was best on the day, as Williamstown jumped to second position on the ladder. The Development League team were on top of the ladder in that grade with 13 wins, two losses and a percentage of 240, after winning the first four games by 118, 168, 152 and 69 points before going down to Coburg by a point in round 5 and to Frankston by 4 points in round 6, the only two defeats for the year.
A second loss for the year to a star-studded Geelong team including AFL players Paul Chapman and Josh Hunt by 49 points in round 17, was followed by victories over North Ballarat at Eureka Stadium, 10.12.72 to 8.5.53, where the Roosters were held scoreless in the last quarter while the Seagulls added 5 goals, and by 30 points over the Northern Blues (111-81, Liam Jones 6 goals, Wheeler best) at Williamstown in the last home-and-away game for the season.
The team finished in third place on the ladder with 12 wins and 6 losses, but lost the qualifying final against Box Hill, 13.8.86 to 7.14.56, who earned a home final by finishing second. Jack Johnstone was best for the Seagulls.
The semi-final was against Port Melbourne at North Port, which had won both of the home-and-away encounters quite easily, but on this occasion Williamstown burst out of the blocks to lead a stunned Borough by 33 points at quarter-time and by 50 points at half-time, before adding 12 goals in the third term in the best quarter of football for the year. The lead blew out to 110 points during the last term before some consolation goals to Port reduced the final margin to 87, with the final score 27.14.176 to 14.5.89 (Jason Tutt 5 goals, Veszpremi 4, Johnstone best). Earlier in the day the Development League team beat Port in the preliminary final by 96 points (144-48), with Dylan Conway kicking 4 goals and Sean Hetherington named best. The Seconds had finished the season on top of the ladder with 16 wins and two losses and a percentage of 238.
In its seventh preliminary final in the last eight years, Williamstown went down to Geelong for the third time for the season in losing 24.16.160 to 11.12.78 at North Port to conclude the year. In the week after the loss, the Club announced that coach Peter German would not be reappointed after four years in the position, and by October former Hawthorn player and experienced coach Andy Collins had the job for the next two seasons.
Earlier in the day the Development League team under coach Brett Henderson won its first premiership in that grade since 2008, when it defeated Box Hill by the ‘golden point’ rule, 11.19.85 to 12.12.84. Williamstown had led by 37 points at the 11 minute mark of the third quarter before Box Hill kicked nine of the next eleven goals to level the scores at the 26 minute mark of the last term. With the scores tied up at 84 apiece at the siren, extra time was played but still neither side scored until the Seagull’s Josh Bench managed to soccer through a behind in ‘golden point’ time to win the flag. He was awarded the Fred Hill Memorial Medal for best-on-ground, while Sean Hetherington, Sam Critchley, Michael Stockdale and Anton Woods were amongst the best. Dylan Conway and Shaun Wyatt were the victorious captain and vice-captain, respectively.
During the year it was announced by the Club that the alignment with the Western Bulldogs would cease at the end of the season and that Williamstown would revert to stand-alone status from 2014 in the Club’s 150th year in existence, after fourteen years in affiliations with the Bulldogs, then Collingwood and then the Bulldogs again.
Vice-captain Cameron Lockwood won his first Gerry Callahan Medal from Ben Jolley with first-year player Willie Wheeler in third place. Bulldog-listed Patrick Veszpremi won the leading goalkicker award. Anton Woods won the Bill Sheahan Memorial Trophy for best and fairest in the Development League team, from Sam Critchley and Dale Hoghton. Jolley took home his fifth Ron James Memorial Trophy for the Club’s most valuable player. Andy Dandridge was awarded the Bill ‘Darkie’ Raffle Memorial Trophy for best club person.
Life memberships were awarded to Jimmy O’Toole and Matthew Cravino. James ‘Jimmy’ O’Toole was a local Williamstown boy who joined the Thirds in 1957. Jimmy progressed from the Thirds, Seconds and eventually made his Senior debut in 1961 and finished up playing 86 senior games and kicking 15 goals up until 1968. Jimmy was ruck rover in the 1961 and 1964 senior grand final sides and was named best player in the 1966 Reserves premiership. Overall Jimmy played a total of 189 games with the Williamstown Football Club.
Matthew “Dogga” Cravino joined Williamstown in 2006 and played for 7 seasons. Matthew won the Bill Sheahan Memorial Trophy as Best and Fairest for the Reserves/Development side on 3 occasions – 2009, 2011 and 2012. Matthew also won two A.Todd Medals as Best and Fairest in the Reserves/ Development League competition in 2010 and 2011 and was also runner-up in 2009 and 2012. In 2008, Matthew played in Williamstown’s Reserves Premiership side and he was also awarded the 2007 Ron James Memorial Trophy for the Club’s most valuable player.
1949 premiership half-back flanker, Bill ‘Bomber’ Wells passed away on March 16 at 92 years of age. Bill played 48 games and kicked 16 goals for Williamstown during several stints at the Club in 1946, 1949 and 1951.
In May, life-long supporter Jean Dilks passed away at 100 years of age, while first rover in the 1945 premiership side, Doug Dowling, also passed on at 90 on May 14. Doug kicked 58 goals in 1947 and was runner-up in the best and fairest award to Reg Harley.
2013 senior playing list
Recruit Willie Wheeler in his Coburg days
Former Seagull & Rooster, Brett Goodes, was drafted at 29 years-of-age by the Bulldogs
Lin Jong in the wet at Port Melbourne in the round 14 69-point defeat
2013 Gerry Callahan Medallist, Cameron Lockwood, about to apply a tackle.
Justin Sherman prepares to take a mark against Coburg in the 100-point victory in round 2 at Williamstown
Ben Jolley in action v. Essendon in 2013, with Justin Sherman looking on
Ed Carr with the ball, while Cameron Wood contests with Collingwood's Darren Jolly in the round 16 clash
Jack Charleston and new recruit Willie Wheeler v. Geelong at Williamstown in round 17
Bulldog-listed, Patrick Veszpremi, was Club leading goalkicker in 2013
2013 Western Jets captain, Brett Bewley, was recruited by Williamstown for the 2014 season.
Peter German led Williamstown to an 87-point win over Port Melbourne at North Port Oval in the 2013 semi-final
Jason Tutt kicked 5 goals & was one of the better players in the big semi-final win over Port Melbourne
Bulldog-listed Patrick Veszpremi booted four goals in the 87-point victory over Port in the semi-final
Seagull Cameron Lockwood was one of the better players against Port in the 2013 semi-final triumph
Ed Carr prepares to handball against Port, the win saw Williamstown through to its 7th preliminary in 8 years
Kirby McConnon fires off a handball in the semi-final against Port at North Port Oval
Willie Wheeler applies a tackle against Port in the semi-final
The Development League team also comfortably beat Port Melbourne earlier in the day to reach the Grand Final against Box Hill
2013 Development League Grand Final team list
Development League premiership cup, won by 'golden point' v. Box Hill, the Club's first silverware since the 2008 Reserves Grand Final victory.
Willie Wheeler in action in the losing preliminary final v. Geelong at North Port Oval
Back row: Chris Adolph (development coach), Sean Hetherington, Andrew Gallucci, Ben Christodoulou, Robbie Ball, Jack Walker, Jordan Mead, Christian Burgess, Matt Adolph (midfield coach)
Centre row: Anthony Pierobon (runner), Mitch Ferrie (runner), James Flack, Jake Polizzi, Ben Casley, Sam Critchley, Alex Greenwood, Jack Dorgan, Mark Lynch (rotations), Maurie Thurston (rotations)
Front row: Alan Williams (forwards coach), Stephen Witkowski, Anton Woods, Dylan Conway (captain), Brett Henderson (coach), Shaun Wyatt (vice-captain), Dale Hoghton, Nathan Giles, Theo Theodorou (backs coach)
Seated: Michael Stockdale, Josh Bench, Charlie Nastasi Inset: Brandon Symes
Back row: Ally Dean, Jacinta Evans (trainers), Matt Adolph (midfield coach), Christian Burgess, Sean Hetherington, Graeme Crocker (timekeeper), Nance Di Grande, Claudia Spaseska (trainers)
2nd back row: Chris Adolph (development coach), Ian Cashill (stats), Andrew Gallucci, Robbie Ball, Jake Polizzi, Alex Greenwood, Jordan Mead, Max Atkin (property), Anthony Pierobon (runner)
3rd back row: Ken Evans (property), Luke Kovanovic (property), Ben Christodoulou, James Flack, Sam Critchley, Ben Casley, Jack Dorgan, Jack Walker, Mitch Ferrie (runner), Mark Lynch (rotations)
Front row: Maurie Thurston (rotations), Alan Williams (forwards coach), Stephen Witkowski, Anton Woods, Dylan Conway (captain), Brett Henderson (coach), Shaun Wyatt (vice-captain), Dale Hoghton, Nathan Giles, Theo Theodorou (backs coach), Trevor Monti (President)
Seated: Michael Stockdale, Josh Bench, Charlie Nastasi
Inset: Brandon Symes
Dual A. Todd Medallist, triple Bill Sheahan Memorial Trophy winner & 2008 Reserves premiership player, Matthew Cravino, and ruck rover in the 1961 and 1964 Grand Final teams, Jimmy O'Toole, received life memberships in 2013
1945 premiership player, Doug Dowling, passed away at 90 on May 14.