Season Summary: 1906

1905 captain Horrie Dick, pictured here on a 1906 Sniders & Abrahams trading card, was appointed the Club's first coach in 1906.

The first 'coach' in Australian football is generally conceded to be Jack Worrall, who moved from Fitzroy to Carlton in 1902 to completely manage that team. Williamstown appointed a coach for the first time in 1906 when 1905 captain Horrie Dick, who had played with the Villagers since 1901, was given the role as well as being elected captain of the team by the players. Arthur Britt was appointed vice-captain. Missing from the 1905 line-up was Len 'Mother' Mortimer and Billy Davies who crossed to VFL clubs South Melbourne and Essendon, respectively, while Frank Wilcher went to Collingwood after spending the 1905 season at South Fremantle. Wilcher, born in Williamstown in August 1883, would go on to become the Mayor of Williamstown in 1927-28. After 31 games and 77 goals for the Villagers, Mortimer would kick 11 goals in his first practice match and go on to play for South for 10 seasons, kicking 289 goals in his 153 matches. He topped the Swans goalkicking in each of his first seven seasons and played in their inaugural VFL premiership side in 1909. Davies would go on to play 65 games for Essendon from 1906-09, including the losing 1908 VFL grand final, before returning to the Villagers in 1910.

After 31 games and 77 goals for the Villagers in 1904/05, Len 'Mother' Mortimer crossed to VFL club South Melbourne in 1906. He was the Club and VFA leading goalkicker in 1905 with a total of 48 majors, the first Williamstown player to ever lead the Association goalscoring. This would not be repeated until Ron Todd booted 188 majors in 1945. Mortimer would kick 11 goals in his first practice match and go on to play for South for 10 seasons, kicking 289 goals in his 153 matches. He topped the Swans goalkicking in each of his first seven seasons and played in their inaugural VFL premiership side in 1909. 

'Town had twelve good wins in 1906, missing the finals by half a game due to eventual fourth-placed Footscray drawing in round 3 with eventual premier, West Melbourne, which won its one and only pennant during nine years in the VFA. After winning six of the first seven rounds, with the only defeat being to West Melbourne, by 4 points only, Williamstown then lost to North Melbourne (by 1 point), Footscray (26 points) and Port Melbourne (10 points) in successive weeks to drop from second to fifth on the ladder by round 10. The best of the wins in the first half of the season was a 27-point victory over eventual second-placed Richmond at Punt Road in round 5 when the Tigers were unbeaten to that stage.

Williamstown-born Arthur Britt first played with The Villagers in 1903 after earlier stints with Melbourne and St Kilda. He would go on to become vice-captain in 1906, his final season with Williamstown and would total 43 games and 22 goals 

They recovered to win six of the next seven matches, including a 10-point victory over West Melbourne at Williamstown in round 13 and a win over North Melbourne also at Pt Gellibrand in round 17 by a goal, to be in fourth place but had to visit Footscray in the last game in a play-off for a finals place. The Tricolours were fifth at the time, two points behind, and led the Villagers by 3 points only at half-time, but by kicking 5 goals to one in the third quarter they set up a 9.10 to 5.4 victory to displace Williamstown from the final four. Footscray were the only team to defeat the Villagers twice in this season. 


Cricketer, Jimmy Matthews, also played football for Williamstown in 1905-06 and 1908-10 as well as 12 games and 18 goals for St Kilda in the VFL in 1907, before making his test debut against England in 1912. On May 28 that year, he created history by taking two hat-tricks with his right-arm leg-breaks on the same day in the first Test against South Africa in Manchester during the triangular series between Australia, England and South Africa. He had previously taken a hat-trick for Victoria against Tasmania at Launceston in the 1908-09 season. His move to the spearhead to replace Len Mortimer resulted in a total of 46 goals for Williamstown in the 1906 VFA season which put him equal second on the Association goalkicking list behind Richmond's Jack Hutchinson with 56 and also earned him interstate selection against the South Australians where he kicked a further 9 in the two matches played at Adelaide Oval and East Melbourne, both of which were won by the Association. He kicked 7 goals at Port Melbourne in the opening game of the season in a 46-point win, 6 goals against Preston at Williamstown in round 2 in a 36-point win and 8 goals against Essendon Association in round 3 at Williamstown in a 67-point victory to give him 21 goals after the opening 3 games. In the match against Port, it was reported that Matthews twice hit the post and missed another two easy chances to goal. Half-forward flanker, Billy Jones, also had a good year with 22 goals and he was also picked in the VFA representative team along with Matthews.

Two boundary umpires were introduced by the VFA in this year and Jim 'Ginger' Caldwell, a player who was to play a big part in Williamstown's history left Newport Juniors to play a few games during the 1906 season, joining his brother, Arthur. The winner of the most consistent player trophy, Billy Graham, broke his leg during the season as did Dick Bliss. The 1000 points aggregate was posted for the first time in Club history in 1906 when a total of 140 goals and 177 behinds (1017 points) were scored while the opposition put together 102 goals and 156 behinds (768 points). Club membership increased to 649 in 1906. Port Melbourne played as amateurs in this season and 20 goals were kicked in a game for the first time in Association history by Richmond in the opening round and by West Melbourne in round 10.

A. McNeilage finished up at Williamstown at the end of 1906 after 51 games and 5 goals since 1901. 

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