Season Summary: 2006
2006 saw the arrival of delisted Collingwood player Andrew Williams after 116 AFL games with West Coast and the Magpies. ‘Hottie’ famously played his first game for Williamstown in the 2003 premiership win and had run fourth in Williamstown’s best and fairest in 2005.
Also joining the Seagulls was Steven Greene after 42 AFL games with Hawthorn and winning Box Hill’s best and fairest the previous year. Brett Johnson, who had played 70 AFL games with Hawthorn and Carlton came on board, along with Stephen Brewer from Springvale. Patrick Rose also debuted in the seniors in 2006.
Departing the Club was Sam Cranage, Luke Jarrad (Woodville-West Torrens in SA), Craig Smoker (West Perth), Jeremy Dukes (overseas) and Christin Macri.
The competition experienced a further restructure when the Port Melbourne/North Melbourne alignment finished after three years. Port went stand-alone while North split their players between North Ballarat and Tasmania. Meanwhile, Springvale relocated to Casey Fields in Cranbourne and became the Casey Scorpions. Thirteen team contested the 2006 premiership, being ten AFL/VFL alignments, one AFL stand-alone (Geelong) and two VFL stand-alones in Port and Frankston.
The season began brightly with six wins coming from the first nine games, with defeats of Box Hill (81-50), Werribee (128-115), Port (140-55, Andrew 'Hottie' Williams 7 goals), Coburg (92-74), Frankston (79-62) and Geelong (124-82). The win at Werribee was only the second Seagulls' victory there in the past 16 years, and the 85-point win over Port was Brad Gotch's 150th game as coach. There were a further three wins in a row from rounds 13-15, which enabled the team to finish in fourth position with 11 wins and 7 losses for the season and a return to the finals after a two-year absence.
Williamstown met the Bullants in a qualifying final at Cramer Street, and triumphed 19.16.130 to 12.13.85 after a 10-goal final quarter. However, the team was no match for Geelong in the preliminary and went down 17.13.115 to 12.16.88 to end the season.
The Reserves went through the season undefeated to register 18 wins and a percentage of 252! They opened their title defence with a 124-point victory over Box Hill at Williamstown, kicking 21 goals to zero after quarter-time. This was followed up with a 100-point win at Werribee the following week and then victories followed over Bendigo (by 206 points), Port Melbourne (84 points), Coburg (60 points), Casey (96 points), Frankston (98 points) and Sandringham (146 points). They went on to win their first final against Frankston 12.8.80 to 8.10.58, but then suffered their first defeat for the year in the grand final, going down to Box Hill by two goals, 10.11.71 to 8.11.59.
Some highlights of the year included the attendance of Australian Test cricket captain Ricky Ponting at the president’s luncheon on May 14, St.Kilda ruckman Justin Koschitzke knocking himself out after colliding with an umpire in a reserves game playing for Casey at Williamstown on July 15, David Stretton winning the A. Todd Medal for the Reserves competition best and fairest, and Brett Johnson being runner-up in the JJ Liston Trophy in his first season with the Seagulls.
Skipper Brad Lloyd played his 150th senior game for the Club at Preston in round 3 against the Northern Bullants, and then announced his retirement at the end of the season after 167 games since his debut in 1994. This included a stint at Hawthorn from 1997-99, during which time he won the Gardiner Medal for best and fairest in the AFL reserves competition. He was co-captain of Williamstown for two seasons with Troy West in 2003/04 and then the sole captain in 2005/06. He won the Most Consistent award in his debut season of 1994, and won the Gerry Callahan Medal for Club best and fairest three times in 2000, 2001 and 2004. He was runner-up in the premiership year of 2003 and won the Ron James MVP award in 2000.
Andrew Williams headed the goalkicking with a total of 30 in his debut year as a Williamstown player, while Steven Greene took home the Gerry Callahan Medal in his first season from fellow newcomer Brett Johnson. David Stretton added the Bill Sheahan Memorial Trophy for Reserves best and fairest to his achievements for the season. Tommy Langlands was awarded the Ron James Memorial Trophy for most valuable player while Carol and Davey Utber were jointly awarded the Bill 'Darkie' Raffle Memorial Trophy for best clubperson(s).
Life member, Alan Crocker, father of veteran time-keeper, Graeme, and producer of the Seagull Sportsheet, passed away early in the year.
Brett Johnson, after 70 AFL games with Hawthorn & Carlton, joined Williamstown in 2006.
Williamstown's 2006 playing list
2003 Reserves best & fairest winner, Luke Jarrad, left for SA in 2006
Captain Brad Lloyd marks against the Bullants in round 3 of 2006.
Cameron Cloke takes a big grab over three Bullants in round 3 of 2006, Andrew Williams assisting.
Brad Gotch celebrated coaching his 150th VFL game in round 4 v. Port Melbourne at Williamstown with a big win, 21.14.140 to 8.7.55.
New in 2006, former Hawthorn player Steven Greene won the best and fairest in his first year.
Captain Brad Lloyd in action v. North Ballarat in round 16, 2006
2006 Gerry Callahan Medal winner, Steven Greene, handballs against The Roosters in round 16, while Adam Iacobucci looks on.
Captain Brad Lloyd in 2006, his last season with Williamstown.
Second-year Seagull and future Western Bulldogs AFL premiership hero, 20 year old Liam Picken.
Jason Cloke played with Williamstown while on Collingwood's list from 2002-2006.
Collingwood's Scott Pendlebury played with Williamstown in 2006
Williamstown Reserves had a comfortable win in the second-semi v. Frankston to advance to the Grand Final.
Williamstown Reserves suffered their first defeat for the season at the hands of Box Hill in the 2006 Grand Final.
David Stretton won the A. Todd Medal in 2006 as well as the Club reserves best & fairest
Steven Greene took out the Gerry Callahan Medal in his first season with the Club
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 ...