Season Summary: 1911
Carlton's 1906 premiership player, Isaac 'Ike' Little, played with Williamstown in 1911 after starting out with North Melbourne's VFA team. His services were dispensed with by the committee for disciplinary reasons in June 1911 but he was back in the team by round 11. He later went to Footscray VFA in 1914.
Williamstown, under new captain-coach Ted Alley, now in his seventh season with the Villagers, again finished seventh in 1911 but, in winning only five games out of the 18 home-and-away rounds, it experienced its worst season since 1893. Recruits included Bert Streckfuss from South Melbourne, Isaac 'Ike' Little from Carlton, A.E. Trewartha from the Bendigo area, Alan Ferguson from Castlemaine, Walters from Maldon, Tommy Lamprell from Footscray and St Kilda prior to that, local Fred Harden jnr, Tom O'Halloran and Bert McTaggart snr from Werribee. A 14yo from Warragul named Jack MacDonald commenced in this season and, apart from the recess of 1916-18 when he served in World War I, he played up until the end of 1924, was vice-captain in 1920 and a member of the 1921 premiership side on the half-back flank.
A 1911 Williamstown shield issued by Sniders & Abrahams Standard cigarettes.
Alley resigned the captaincy after the 10-point loss to Prahran at Williamstown in round 6. Bert Amy was elected to replace him while Bert Reitman retained the vice-captaincy. One highlight of the season was the selection of two Williamstown players, Reitman and Ike Little in the VFA representative team that played SA at North Melbourne on June 10 which was lost by 9 points, 9.7.61 to 7.10.52. Surprisingly, Little's services were dispensed with by the Club committee two weeks later for disciplinary reasons but he was back in the team for the round 11 clash with Preston at Williamstown. Reitman was also selected in the return clash at Adelaide Oval on July 8 which the VFA won by 13 points, 6.12 to 5.5. Alf Weidner was also selected in the squad but did not play.
Williamstown Chronicle, April 29, 1911
The other notable events during the season were a 6-point victory over grand finalist Brunswick at Williamstown in round 13, 5.15 to 5.9, and a 64-point win at Preston in round 2, 13.20.98 to 5.4.34. The worst effort for the year was arguably the 3-goal loss at Northcote in round 8 when the 'Cotes were last on the ladder. This was Northcote's first-ever victory over Williamstown in the seventh clash between the two teams. The defeat by Brighton at Williamstown by 21 points in round 16 was little better and was only the second time the Penguins had beaten the Villagers since joining the VFA in 1908. At the Williamstown Police Court on August 25, Bobby Gibbs junior appeared to answer charges laid by Constable Gleeson of having assaulted Brighton captain Tom Gibney during this match. Gibbs was fined 40 shillings. Gibbs was also suspended by the VFA Tribunal until June 30 the following year in respect of the incident. Bert Amy was leading goalkicker for the year with 15, followed by Robert Collins on 10 and Walter Litchfield with 9.
The team kicked a total of 93 goals and 161 behinds (719 points), the lowest aggregate for some time, as against the opposition's 130 goals and 195 behinds (975 points).
The other development in Association football in 1911 was that open payments to players was finally allowed after many years of agitation for its legality, even though the payments constituted little more than expenses for those players whose clubs were financial enough to take advantage of the VFA's ruling.
Bert Reitman, pictured here in the 1911 Sport magazine, was vice-captain in 1911 before being elevated to the captaincy in 1912 when the captain-coach, George Angus, could not continue playing after round 15 due to illness. He was captain-coach in 1913 and captain in his final season in 1914. Reitman played 126 games and kicked 10 goals with Williamstown from 1907-14, including the Club's first premiership in 1907 where he played in the back pocket. Reitman's two sons, Keith and Ron, also played for Williamstown and both were in the 1948 Seconds' premiership side.
Forward, Bill 'Bubs' Kerr, passed away at the age of just 28 on February 16, 1911, after contracting typhoid fever. Kerr played 22 games for 'Town in 1906 and part of 1910. Orginally from Port Rovers, he came to Williamstown after one senior game with Essendon in 1905. He played 15 games and kicked 8 goals with South Melbourne, including the losing grand final in 1907, before returning to Williamstown during 1910 and kicking 16 goals, the third most behind Test cricketer, Jimmy Matthews, with 29 and Bert Amy with 21.
Another former player and vice-president to pass away during the year was Henry Prior Sutton. Originally from Corowa, Sutton played for Williamstown in 1871/72 and was vice-president from 1876-78 but was better known for being secretary of the Williamstown Racing Club for 30 years. He was 74 years of age at the time of his death in Moonee Ponds.
Port Melbourne Standard, February 25, 1911
Another recruit for the 1911 season was Bert Streckfuss from South Melbourne
Williamstown Chronicle, June 17, 1911 - Originally from Corowa, Henry Prior Sutton played for Williamstown in 1871 but was better known for being secretary of the Williamstown Racing Club for 30 years. He was 74 years of age at the time of his death.
Williamstown Chronicle, June 17, 1911
Williamstown Chronicle, June 24, 1911
Have a look to see how the VFL side wentRead more ...