Season Summary: 2004
A massive premiership hangover was experienced in 2004, exacerbated by a high injury toll of both Williamstown and Collingwood players (including the career-ending head injury to Marcus Baldwin at Bendigo in round 11) and the loss of experienced personnel such as Adrian Fletcher (retired) and Josh Mahoney (drafted to Port Adelaide AFL), along with many of the Collingwood-listed players who were involved with the premiership in 2003. Reserves premiership co-captain, Ben Kelly, went to Tullamarine as assistant coach, Tom Hill returned to Sydney, Scott Taylor transferred to Epping along with Craig Anderson.
A number of Reserves players stepped up from their flag side of the previous year to cover these losses, most notably Luke Jarrad, Luke Theodore, Kane McKenzie, Terry Knight and Nick McArdle. Clinton Proctor joined the Club from TAC Cup club Gippsland Power.
The season started badly with an 11-goal defeat at Werribee (124-56) in the opening round, but the Seagulls bounced back in round 2 to down Box Hill at Williamstown (93-83) with Baldwin kicking six majors. Wins followed losses in every match for the first six rounds before the ‘Town lost four in a row to Geelong (52 points), Tasmania (49 points), North Ballarat (93 points) and Bendigo (36 points) to really sink the season.
After 10 rounds the Seagulls had three wins and six losses and found themselves in tenth position. Five of the six defeats were by 8 goals or more, and the three wins were all against teams below them on the ladder. The team didn’t string two wins in a row together all season, but did celebrate Troy West’s 200th game for Williamstown against Frankston in round 16 with a victory, 12.11.83 to 9.10.64.
After the completion of the home-and-away rounds the team found themselves in 10th position on the ladder with just six wins and 12 losses for the year.
The Reserves fared better to finish in fourth place with 10 wins, 7 losses and a draw. They won the elimination final against Werribee by two goals (95-83), and had a huge win in the first-semi by 83 points over Sandringham (157-74). They got home by 10 points in the preliminary over North Ballarat (90-80), but were no match for Port Melbourne in the grand final and went down by nearly 11 goals, 19.13.127 to 8.15.63.
Brad Lloyd won his third Gerry Callahan Medal from Sam Cranage with first-year players Luke Jarrad and Luke Theodore tied for third place. Nick McArdle took out the Bill Sheahan Memorial Reserves best and fairest while Ben Kinnear was leading goalkicker in the Seniors with a total of just 16. This was the same number that was kicked by Steve Johansen in 1995, the Club's worst-ever season on record, and the lowest return since Bert Amy won with 14 in 1919 after the recess for World War One. Jeremy Dukes was awarded the Ron James Memorial Trophy for most valuable player. Jami Moran received the Bill 'Darkie' Raffle Memorial Trophy for best clubman.
At the end of the season, head trainer Bernadette O’Sullivan announced her retirement from the position after eleven years service. Players Marcus Baldwin, Matthew Cape, Aaron Ramsay and Clint Rippon also indicated they would not be continuing.
Before the season commenced, long serving supporter Vivienne Woolley and life member Ethel Worlley both passed away. Ethel commenced on the Ladies Committee in 1946 and was married to Herb Worlley, who was a vice-president from 1956-62, before passing away in January, 1963, aged 55. She was also the mother of Rolda Burnell, who was heavily involved in the Club's fightback from the threatened merger with Werribee in 1995. Generous Club sponsor, Eric Gladio, also lost his battle with cancer, aged just 39, early in the year.
Williamstown's 2004 playing list
2004 co-captain Troy West was awarded VFL Life Membership early in the season after playing 175 VFL games
Queensland recruit Terry Knight made his debut in round 2 and booted 5 goals against the Bullants in the round 7 match at Williamstown
Co-captain Brad Lloyd in action in 2004 while Collingwood-listed David King looks on.
The Club's other co-captain, Brad Lloyd, led Victoria to victory against WA in Perth on June 19
Troy West played his 200th game for Williamstown against Frankston at Pt Gellibrand in round 16.
Co-captain Brad Lloyd won his third Gerry Callahan Medal in 2004
Head trainer Bernadette O’Sullivan announced her retirement
from the position after eleven years service at the end of 2004.
Life member, Ethel Worlley, passed away in early 2004
Passionate supporter, Vivienne Woolley, also passed away in early 2004. She can be seen in the above picture in the Williamstown jacket next to the fence and clapping the players off the ground after yet another defeat in the disastrous 1995 season.
Brownlow medallist Nathan Buckley made his return from a hamstring injury through the VFL with Williamstown in 2007 in a best on ground performance.Read more ...