Season Summary: 2019
Williamstown VFLW player Sophie Van de Heuvel was drafted to AFLW side Geelong with pick number 2 in the national draft, while Michael Gibbons (Carlton), Ben Cavarra (Western Bulldogs), and Lachie Schultz and Brett Bewley (Fremantle) were picked up in the AFL draft.
2015 premiership defender Peter Faulks transferred to Echuca after 94 games at Williamstown over 8 seasons and 112 VFL games in total, in addition to three years on Fremantle's AFL list. Peter was also a VFL representative and made the VFL team of the year. Lachie George also departed due to work committments, while Daylan Kempster (Sunbury), Jordan Jones (coach of Ocean Grove), Lachie Knight and Fletcher Carroll all returned to community football, although Carroll later found his way to Coburg.
The other retirement from Williamstown was Club games record holder Ben Jolley after 269 VFL games (217 with the Seagulls) and 82 goals. Ben came to Pt Gellibrand in 2008 and, over 11 seasons, won a record-equalling four Gerry Callahan Medals, 9 times was voted most valuable player by his teammates, was captain for a record-equalling 6 seasons (2012-2017) including the 2015 premiership, made the VFL team of the year 7 times and twice represented the State. He is a life member of both Williamstown and the VFL. Ben continued his VFL career with Port Melbourne.
New recruits for 2019 included Sam McLarty (Collingwood VFL), Ben Kennedy (40 AFL games with Collingwood and Melbourne), Mitch Hibberd (4 AFL games with North Melbourne), Coburg's 2017 best and fairest winner, Liam Hunt, as well as Lions teammate, Nick Mellington. Joel Ottavi also joined from Essendon VFL and 2015 premiership player Nick Sing returned after a year with Collingwood VFL.
Departures from the VFLW team included Pearce-Lambert Medallist and 2018 best and fairest winner, Jess Duffin, Jasmine Garner and Jenna Bruton, who all transferred to the Melbourne Uni VFLW side. Jorja Rowe ruptured her ACL in a practice match and missed the entire season. High profile recruits in Melbourne AFLW star, Aliesha Newman, and 31yo Collingwood and North Melbourne AFLW player, Moana Hope, were additions to the playing list.
Adam Marcon was re-appointed captain of the VFL side for his second year in the role with Jack Charleston elevated to the vice-captaincy. 2018 best and fairest runner-up, Jacinta Reid, and Nikki Wallace were co-captains of the VFLW team.
The Williamstown Cricket Ground was renamed Downer Oval early in the year in a multi-year venue naming partnership with Downer EDI Ltd, and 4 new light towers and a TV vision scoreboard were installed prior to the commencement of the season. The lighting enabled the first-ever night game to be held at Williamstown in round 1 against traditional rival Port Melbourne, who were competing from this game on for the Johnson-Callahan Cup, named after Port's captain from the 1950's, the late Frank Johnson, and Williamstown's legendary Gerry Callahan. The initial winner was the Seagulls, who emerged 10-point victors, 10.15.75 to 9.11.65, in a tight game where the margin was never bigger than 15 points all night. This game was Billy Myers' 50th senior match, after being recruited from the Western Jets in 2014.
Highlights of the round 1 night game at Williamstown against Port Melbourne can be viewed by clicking on this link or copying and pasting the link into your web browser:
The team returned from Frankston with a 12-goal win in round 2, 18.9.117 to 6.9.45, with Nick Rodda kicking 5 goals and Sam Dunnell and newcomer, Joel Ottavi, booting 3 each.
Highlights of the round 2 encounter at Frankston can be viewed by clicking on this link or copying and pasting the link into your web browser:
The round 3 match at Sandringham was 2015 premiership ruckman and 2017 best and fairest, Nick Meese's, 150th senior VFL game, which included 97 with Williamstown and 53 with the Northern Bullants/Blues. Unfortunately it resulted in a 24-point defeat, 14.8.92 to 9.14.68, with Nick Rodda and Jaylon Thorpe both kicking 3 goals.
Williamstown and Footscray played for the Terry Wheeler Cup for the first time in the round 4 clash at Downer Oval, which the Seagulls won by 16 points by kicking the last 2 goals of the game, 9.10.64 to 6.12.48. Nick Ebinger kicked 3 goals in his first senior match of the year.
2015 premiership defender Nick Sing played his 100th senior VFL match since debuting in 2013 in the round 5 encounter with Richmond. 94 of these games were with Williamstown, while he played a further 6 games with Collingwood where he spent the 2018 season. Tom Mundy also made his debut in this encounter, which resulted in the Seagulls worst performance of the year, going down by 51 points, 12.13.85 to 4.10.34. The result could have been significantly worse had the 'Town not kicked 3 of the last 4 goals of the game, after being just 1.5 at three-quarter time.
The VFLW season-opener was also the first VFLW night game at Williamstown, but the Western Bulldogs proved too strong and triumphed 8.8.56 to 1.3.9, with the Seagulls having 11 debutants.
Nick Meese qualified for life membership when he played his 100th senior club match in the round 7 game at Coburg, which resulted in a 32-point win after Williamstown kicked the first 8 goals of the clash. The 4th win of the season, 14.16.100 to 10.8.68, saw the Seagulls in 5th place on the ladder. Sam Dunnell kicked 5 goals, with 4 of these coming in the first half.
Despite not kicking their first goal until the 17-minute mark of the second quarter and conceding the first 5 goals of the game to Casey Demons in the round 8 match at Downer Oval, Williamstown got up to win 11.11.77 to 9.7.61, with Jaylon Thorpe and Christian Buykx-Smith both kicking 3 goals. The Demons were held goalless in the second half until time-on in the last quarter when they kicked 3 late majors after the Seagulls had kicked 8 and got out to a 34-point lead. Mitch Hibberd was best afield. In the curtain-raiser, the VFLW side lost their second round game against Casey Demons, 7.6.48 to 2.1.13.
Williamstown suffered their third defeat of the season in round 9 at Box Hill by 20 points, 10.14.74 to 8.6.54, after being 3 points up at half-time. Josh Pickess played his 50th VFL game after coming from Frankston in 2017, while Hawthorn premiership star, Jarryd Roughead, appeared for the Hawks in this match. In the early VFLW game, the Seagulls improved on their opening two performances but still went down 4.11.35 to 4.2.26. Ex-North Ballarat Rooster, Lane Buckwell, did his ACL for a second time playing community football this weekend and missed the remainder of the season.
The Seagulls won their 6th game of the season by downing North Melbourne by 53 points at Downer Oval in round 10, 19.9.123 to 10.10.70, with Nick Rodda kicking 4 goals and Joel Ottavi 3 and Mitch Hibberd best-on-ground against his old team. In the VFLW curtain-raiser, Melbourne Uni were victorious by 11 points over the Seagulls, 6.7.43 to 4.8.32, with AFLW imports Moana Hope best afield and Aleisha Newman prominent.
In the 255th meeting of bayside rivals Williamstown and Port Melbourne in the round 11 clash at North Port, the Seagulls wore a replica of the maiden 1907 premiership jumper in Willie Wheeler's 150th VFL match. 33 of these games were with Coburg where he won their 2012 best and fairest before switching to the 'Town the following season where he became a premiership player in 2015 and the 2016 best and fairest winner. He gained life membership in 2018. With Port on a 6-game winning streak, Williamstown did themselves no favours by kicking 3.11 in the first half and were still trailing by 17 points at 3/4 time. The Seagulls then kicked the first 4 goals of the last quarter to take the lead, but the Borough scored a behind just before the siren to level the scores at 10.14.74 each. Despite the draw, the 'Town retained the Johnson-Callahan Cup following the 10-point win in round 1. Recruit Liam Hunt was best for Williamstown. The VFLW team had the bye in this round.
25yo Jack Dorgan made his comeback from a fourth ACL reconstruction in the round 12 game at Werribee, which saw the Seagulls climb back into the top 4 by downing the 'Bees 16.7.103 to 14.11.95. Williamstown led all day and got out to a 37-point lead during the third quarter, but the Tigers kicked 4 of the first 5 goals in the last quarter to reduce the margin to 2 points deep in time-on in the last quarter before a goal to Josh Pickess made the difference 8 points at the final siren. Hibberd was again best and Sam Dunell kicked his 200th VFL goal at the start of the 3rd quarter. The VFLW team lost by 20 points at Bill Lawry Oval to the Darebin Falcons, 4.7.31 to 1.5.11.
Australian women's cricketer and Club dietician, Emma Inglis, made her VFLW debut in the season's first and only victory for the season over NT Thunder in the round 8 game at Downer Oval. The win was by 11 points, 4.2.26 to 1.9.15. The VFL team had the bye in this round.
Ex-North Ballarat Rooster, Ollie Tate, played his 100th VFL game against Frankston in the round 14 game at Downer Oval in a 62-point victory, on the back of an 8-goal final quarter. Dunell and Ottavi both kicked 3 goals. In the VFLW round 9 game at Sandringham, Williamstown went down to the Southern Saints, 9.5.59 to 1.1.7.
Mitch Hibberd played his 50th VFL match in the round 15 game at Collingwood, which resulted in an 8-point win, 7.13.55 to 6.11.47, while the VFLW game against the top-of-the-ladder Magpies ended in a loss, 9.3.57 to 4.8.32.
The Seagulls had a 21-point victory in round 16 at Preston over the Northern Blues despite atrocious kicking at goal that saw their half-time score of 4.10 increase to 4.20 by the last change, including 3 posters. The final score of 8.22.70 to 7.7.49 was the 4th win in a row and the 5th in the last 6 matches. The VFLW side lost by 23 points in the round 11 game at Carlton, 9.5.59 to 4.2.26, after being only 3 points in arrears in the last quarter.
Williamstown had their first brother-sister duo when Sam Dunell's sister, Scarlett, made her debut against Essendon in the round 12 VFLW game at Downer Oval which ended in defeat, 7.5.47 to 1.2.8, with Ruby Tripodi best. 2015 premiership player Nick Sing achieved life membership with the Club after playing his 100th senior match in the round 17 game at Williamstown against Essendon. Nick debuted in 2010 after coming from Gippsland Power under 18 team, and spent the 2018 season at Collingwood VFL where he played 6 games. This encounter was also premiership teammate Leigh Masters' 150th VFL game after debuting with the Bendigo Bombers in 2010 and then transferring to Coburg for the 2011 and '12 seasons before switching to Williamstown. Leigh had already received life membership. The game against the second-placed Bombers saw the Seagulls lead all day but were only 5 points in front early in the last quarter before Josh Pickess kicked 3 goals in 15 minutes to lead the team to an 18-point victory, 15.12.102 to 12.12.84, and resulted in the 'Town replacing the Bombers in second place on the ladder. Rodda, Thorpe and Pickess all notched up 3 goals.
The round 13 VFLW game at Punt Road resulted in a 48-point defeat, 7.16.58 to 1.4.10, despite Williamstown outscoring the Tigers in the last quarter. The men's team had the bye in this round.
By scoring 5.5 to 1.0 in the last quarter of the round 19 match at Downer Oval, the Seagulls downed Coburg by 38 points, 13.13.91 to 7.11.53, to secure a top 4 finish. In the VFLW curtain-raiser against the Darebin Falcons, Williamstown failed to kick a goal, going down 7.11.53 to 0.4.4.
The VFL and VFLW games against Geelong were moved to Werribee and Bundoora, respectively, when Downer Oval was considered unfit to play on. Despite this, the men's side downed Geelong by 9 points, 11.14.80 to 10.11.71, after kicking 5 of the first 6 goals of the match and leading all day. The Seagulls were 36 points in front 10 minutes into the last quarter before the Cats piled on 4 unanswered goals in 10 minutes and had the final 6 scoring shots of the game. This was the team's 7th win in a row and the 8th in 9 games. The VFLW team lost to the Cats at LaTrobe University by 46 points, 8.4.52 to 1.0.6, with former Seagull, Sophie Van De Heuvel, best afield for Geelong.
The final VFL home-and-away game for the season was against Werribee at Downer Oval under lights in shocking conditions and resulted in the first loss since round 9 at Box Hill. The 'Bees won it in the opening quarter kicking 4.2 to 0.2 with the aid of the breeze, and Williamstown were goalless in both the first and third quarters. A final quarter surge of 3.3 to NIL was not enough and the Tigers triumphed, 6.8.44 to 4.12.36, but the Seagulls finished in 3rd spot. Nick Rodda injured his ankle in the wet conditions and did not play again until the grand final. The final VFLW game at Windy Hill was a disaster with the Bombers winning, 11.12.78 to 0.1.1. Coach Amy Catterall announced her decision to step down shortly after the end of the season.
The qualifying final at Whitten Oval for the Terry Wheeler Cup was against second-placed Footscray who had won 8 games in a row. This was Williamstown's 14th consecutive final series and 7th straight qualifying final. It was also 27yo captain Adam Marcon's 150th VFL game, with 40 of those being with the Northern Bullants. Down 4.5 to 0.1 at quarter time, the Seagulls kicked 3 goals in 10 minutes in the second quarter to draw level at half time, 6.5 apiece. The game was won in the third quarter when the Dogs were held to just one goal with the wind, and Williamstown kicked away in the last quarter to win by 13 points, 11.11.77 to 9.10.64, with Nick Ebinger booting 3 goals. Highlights of the qualifying final can be viewed by clicking on the link below:
Williamstown entered their 10th straight preliminary final since 2010, with six being under coach Andy Collins, and 13 of the past 14 preliminaries. The game against Essendon at Port Melbourne saw the Seagulls kick 6 unanswered goals in the first quarter, and lead by 16 points at half-time and 31 points at the last change. The team went on to win by 26 points, 14.12.96 to 9.16.70, and broke a run of 3 consecutive preliminary final losses. Ebinger kicked 5 goals and Billy Myers 4. Highlights of the preliminary final can be viewed by clicking on the link below:
Williamstown entered their first grand final since 2015 against Richmond at Princes Park, Carlton, with just 8 players remaining from that premiership team. This game was Sam Dunell's 100th senior Club game, entitling him to life membership, during which he kicked 158 goals, and was Joel Tippett's 100th VFL game since starting out with the Gold Coast Suns in 2010. Nick Rodda returned to the side after injury sustained in the last home-and-away game against Werribee. The game got off to a bad start for the Seagulls with the side trailing 4.4 to 0.0 at quarter time, with 3 of the Tiger goals coming in time-on. Leigh Masters kicked Williamstown's first goal 6 minutes into the second quarter and the margin was reduced to 16 points by half time, 4.8 to 2.4. The difference was still 14 points at 3/4 time but two goals in the first 5 minutes of the last quarter reduced the margin to just one point. Richmond booted 2 goals in 2 minutes, and at the 28-minute mark the Seagulls were 11 points behind before Ben Kennedy goaled to reduce the gap to just 5 points. Willie Wheeler then had a shot for goal at the 30-minute mark from a relayed downfield free kick and at the 32-minute mark from a chest mark. Both shots tragically hit the post and when the siren sounded the Tigers were in front by 3 points, 8.10.58 to 7.13.55. Nick Ebinger had also hit the post in the third quarter. Best players for Williamstown were Hibberd, Dorgan, Wheeler and Meese.
Williamstown's 2019 grand final line-up was as follows:
B. Jack Charleston Joel Tippett Nick Sing
HB. Brayden Monk Jake Greiser Sam Dunell
C. Leigh Masters Liam Hunt Jack Dorgan
HF. Ben Kennedy Nick Ebinger Josh Pickess
F. Billy Myers Joel Ottavi Tom Mundy (23rd)
R. Nick Meese Mitch Hibberd
Rov. Adam Marcon (C)
Int. Nick Mellington Jason Pongracic Nick Rodda Willie Wheeler Jaylon Thorpe
Coach: Andy Collins
Shortly after the end of the season, Adelaide AFLW and Williamstown announced a partnership whereby 5 Crows players will line up for the Seagulls VFLW side in 2020. Also, 2019 Collingwood VFLW premiership coach, Penny Cula-Reid, was appointed coach to replace Amy Catterall, and 2019 leading goalkicker and best and fairest runner-up, Sharnie Whiting, was drafted by Carlton.
Other highlights of the year included:
Nick Meese, Mitch Hibberd, Jack Charleston and Leigh Masters all made the VFL Team of the Year, while Danica Pederson was the Club's sole selection in the VFLW Team of the Year.
Leigh Masters won the Club best and fairest award, the Gerry Callahan Medal, from Joel Tippett with Nick Meese in 3rd place, while Megan Williamson took out the VFLW award from draftee Sharnie Whiting and Danica Pederson. Both Masters and Williamson are originally from Swan Hill.
Six new life members were admitted in 100-game players, Nick Sing, Nick Meese and Sam Dunell, along with volunteers Maurie Thurston (team manager), Michael Ranger (physiotherapist) and Dianne Ward (match day volunteer).
Coach Andy Collins signed a new 2-year deal during the year, tying him to the Club until the end of 2021 and making him the third longest-serving coach in the Club's long history, behind only Gerry Callahan and Brad Gotch.
On June 21 a Team of the Decade for the 1980's was announced at a function held at the Seaview Function Centre along with another four additions to the Club's Hall of Fame in former players Grant Smith and Glenn Murphy and administrators, the late Terry Maloney and the late Bob Pearman (see below).
There was also a reunion of the 1949, '59 and '69 premiership teams and two new additions to the Hall of Fame at a luncheon held on July 27 before the round 17 game against Essendon. Premiership players Mal Macpherson (1949) and Ian 'Hucky' Johnson (1969) were the two new members of the Hall of Fame, although Hucky sadly passed away shortly after (see below).
A number of former players, life members and long-time supporters passed away during the year including:
1969 premiership back-pocket, Bill Mitchell, in January. Bill played 28 games in 1969-70 kicking 7 goals;
1969 premiership teammate, 1968 best and fairest winner and 2019 Hall of Fame inductee, Ian 'Hucky' Johnson, who played 71 games from 1967-72;
1958 premiership player, Vin Bourke, who played 12 games in 1958-59;
Best clubperson in 1985 and life member, John Clifton, at 88yo;
Triple premiership player (1954/55/56), Jack Curran, who played 74 games from 1953-56;
Life member and former vice-president, Bill Dooley junior, in November at 97yo;
Triple premiership player (1954/55/56), life member and full-back in the Team of the Century, Max Munday, in December at the age of 89. Max played 120 games from 1952-58;
Ruck-rover in the 1960's Team of the Decade and life member, Alan McAsey, also in December at 82yo. Alan played 80 games and kicked 61 goals from 1960-64;
Former Reserves and Thirds player, life member, 30-year Gulls member and long-serving volunteer Garry Jeremiah at 74yo; and
Long-time supporter and 20-year Gulls member, Neil Bloedorn, at the age of 84.
By the end of the year, Sam Dunell (Old Melburnians, VAFA) and Nick Meese (Aberfeldie) announced that they would not be continuing with Williamstown in 2020, along with Willie Wheeler and Leigh Masters who were transferring to Yarrawonga. In addition, Ollie Tate went to Cheltenham and Ben Kennedy to Montmorency. Jack Charleston and Jason Pongracic signalled their intention to travel overseas in 2020. Finally, best player in the grand final, Mitch Hibberd, was drafted to Essendon.
22 players departed from the VFLW list, including Rebecca Dardengo and Rachel Achampong.
Sophie Van de Heuvel was drafted to AFLW side Geelong for the 2019 season
Lachie Schultz, Brett Bewley & Ben Cavarra were all drafted to AFL clubs for the 2019 season
Dual JJ Liston Medallist & Club best & fairest winner, Michael Gibbons, was drafted by Carlton
to read a report on Gibbons' first season at The Blues, click here https://www.afl.com.au/news/2019-07-31/from-broken-to-blues-how-carpet-layer-realised-his-afl-dream
Sam McLarty from Collingwood VFL, one of the first signings for the 2019 season
Nick Mellington joined Williamstown in 2019 from Coburg, having played previously with Richmond VFL
Ben Kennedy, pictured here in 2017 playing for Casey Scorpions, was another 2019 recruit
2017 Coburg best & fairest winner, Liam Hunt, was also recruited to Williamstown in 2019
2015 premiership captain and Club games record-holder, Ben Jolley, retired from Williamstown in 2019 but continued playing with Port Melbourne
Former AFLW star, Moana Hope, played for the Williamstown VFLW team in 2019
Jacinta Reid was the VFLW co-captain for the 2019 season
Ruckman Nick Meese in action against Port Melbourne in the round one night match
Captain Adam Marcon in action against Port Melbourne in the round one night match
Defender Billy Myers played his 50th senior game for Williamstown in the season opener against Port Melbourne
Adam Marcon with Club legend, Ray Smith, and coach, Andy Collins, with the Johnson-Callahan Cup
Highlights of the opening round night game can be seen by clicking on this link
Mitch Hibberd under pressure, as was most of the team, at Sandringham in the 24-point defeat in round 3
Mitch Hibberd in action v. Footscray in the round 4 clash at Downer Oval
Leigh Masters clears the ball from defence in the round 4 clash against Footscray at Downer Oval
Terry Wheeler presents the cup named in his honour to captain, Adam Marcon, and coach, Andy Collins, after the win over Footscray in round 4
Jason Pongracic in action against Richmond at Downer Oval in round 5
Nick Sing played his 100th senior VFL game in the round 5 match v. Richmond at Downer Oval. Former 2015 premiership teammate, Anthony Anastasio, is on the right.
Jack Charleston in a contest for the ball at Coburg in round 7
Moana Hope in action in the VFLW round 5 diversity match v. Melbourne Uni at Downer Oval
Nick Rodda gathers the ball during the 2019 season
The players wore a replica of the jumper used by the Club's 1907 maiden premiership team in the draw v. Port Melbourne in round 11 at North Port
Willie Wheeler played his 150th senior VFL game in the drawn match v. Port Melbourne at North Port Oval
Moana Hope in action in the round 7 VFLW match v. Darebon Falcons at Bill Lawry Oval
The VFLW team leave the field at Downer Oval after their first and only victory for the season v. NT Thunder
Former North Ballarat Rooster, Ollie Tate, is chaired off Downer Oval after his 100th senior VFL match in the round 14 victory over Frankston
Danica Pederson in action v. Southern Saints at Sandringham in round 9. Pederson made the VFLW Team of the Year and ran third in the Club best and fairest award
When Scarlett Dunell, sister of Seagull star Sam, made her VFLW debut in round 12 v. Essendon they became the Club's first brother-sister combination
2015 premiership player, Leigh Masters, played his 150th senior VFL game against Essendon at Downer Oval
Joel Ottavi flies for the ball at a centre bounce against his old club, Essendon, in the round 17 fixture at Downer Oval
Jaylon Thorpe about to kick one of his three goals v. Essendon in the round 17 game at Downer Oval
Gemma Anderson in action v. Richmond at Punt Road in the round 13 VFLW match
Joel Ottavi celebrates a goal during the round 19 win over Coburg at Downer Oval
Eliza Straford in full flight against Darebin in the round 14 VFLW game at Downer Oval
Willie Wheeler in action during the round 20 game against Geelong that was moved to Werribee
Liam Hunt in action during the round 20 game against Geelong that was moved to Werribee
Brayden Monk about to dispose of the ball during the round 20 game against Geelong that was moved to Werribee
Captain Adam Marcon keeps his eyes on the ball in the round 21 night game v. Werribee at Downer Oval
Nick Ebinger takes a spectacular mark in the round 21 night game v. Werribee at Downer Oval
Liam Hunt gathers the ball in the round 21 night game v. Werribee at Downer Oval
Jaylon Thorpe takes a big mark in the round 21 night game v. Werribee at Downer Oval
Jaylon Thorpe sets himself for another big mark in the round 21 night game v. Werribee at Downer Oval
Josh Pickess marks during the qualifying final against Footscray at Whitten Oval
Jake Greiser gets a handball away during the qualifying final against Footscray at Whitten Oval
Joel Tippett clears from defence in the qualifying final against Footscray at Whitten Oval
Josh Pickess marks during the qualifying final against Footscray at Whitten Oval
Captain Adam Marcon leads his side from the field after the winning qualifying final against Footscray at Whitten Oval
To view a short video on Billy Myers shown during half time of the Channel 7 telecast of the 2019 preliminary final click on this link
Captain Adam Marcon, Joel Ottavi, Nick Ebinger and Josh Pickess celebrate a goal during the 2019 Preliminary Final v. Essendon
Mitch Hibberd takes possession of the ball in the 2019 Preliminary Final v. Essendon, while Sam Dunnell and Jack Charleston look on
Jaylon Thorpe and Nick Ebinger celebrate one of Ebinger's five goals in the 2019 Preliminary Final v. Essendon
Defender Nick Sing clears the ball during the 2019 Preliminary Final v. Essendon
Mitch Hibberd in action during the 2019 Preliminary Final v. Essendon at North Port Oval
Champion ruckman, Nick Meese, fires off a handball during the 2019 Preliminary Final v. Essendon at North Port
Sam Dunell celebrates a goal during the 2019 Preliminary Final v. Essendon at North Port Oval
Seagull supporters arrive at Princes Park before the start of the 2019 Grand Final v. Richmond
The Williamstown team, pictured before the 2019 Grand Final v. Richmond at Princes Park, Carlton
Back row: Sam Dunnell, Josh Pickess, Billy Myers, Tom Munday, Leigh Masters, Joel Tippett, Nick Meese, Joel Ottavi, Nick Rodda, Nick Sing, Liam Hunt, Jaylon Thorpe, Mitch Hibberd
Front row: Nick Ebinger, Jason Pongracic, Jake Greiser, Jack Charleston (vice-captain), Adam Marcon (captain), Andy Collins (coach), Brayden Monk, Nick Mellington, Ben Kennedy, Willie Wheeler, Jack Dorgan
Joel Tippett played his 100th VFL game in the 2019 Grand Final
Sam Dunnell played his 100th Williamstown senior Club game in the Grand Final, earning life membership
Billy Myers crashes into Richmond's Mabior Chol in the 2019 Grand Final
To see Billy Myers' goal in the Grand Final, click on the following link:
To see some of the physical clashes from the Grand Final, click on the following link:
Defender Nick Sing looks downfield during the 2019 Grand Final v. Richmond at Princes Park
Jaylon Thorpe takes a big mark in the 2019 Grand Final v. Richmond
Nick Ebinger flies high for a mark in the 2019 Grand Final v. Richmond at Princes Park. Ben Kennedy (#2) is in front.
Mitch Hibberd fires off a handball in the 2019 Grand Final v. Richmond at Princes Park
Willie Wheeler reacts after one of his two posters in the dying minutes of the 2019 Grand Final at Princes Park v. Richmond
The Williamstown bench during the tense last few minutes of the 2019 Grand Final v. Richmond at Princes Park
2019 best and fairest winners, Leigh Masters and Megan Williamson
Collingwood's 2019 VFLW premiership coach, Penny Cula-Reid, replaced Amy Catterall for the 2020 VFLW season
2019 VFLW best and fairest runner-up and leading goalkicker, Sharnie Whiting, was drafted by Carlton AFLW at the end of the year
At a function held at Seaview on Friday, June 21, the 1980's Team of the Decade was announced, as well as the induction of four new members into the Hall of Fame. Former premiership players, Grant Smith and Glenn Murphy, along with former long-time support staff in Bob Pearman and Terry Maloney, had Hall of Fame membership bestowed upon them. Smith, employed as the club's first full time general manager in 1989, booted 79 goals from 76 games between 1985 and 1992 and is a dual premiership player, while Murphy - also a premiership hero in 1986 - kicked 40 goals from 122 games. Williamstown life member Terry Maloney won the best clubman award in 1983, with ex-president Tony Hanneberry accepting the award on his behalf. He was also the reserve grade team manager from 1971-1983 and continued that role as well as taking on the seniors team manager position from 1984-2011. Fellow life member Bob Pearman was represented by his brother Max to accept his Hall of Fame honour. Bob was team manager from 1980-1983, served as the club secretary from 1985-1989, was a board member for three years in the '90s and won the best clubman award in 1982. Great mates, both Terry and Bob are now deceased. Memories were certainly refreshed with recollections of significant events that took place in those days, such as the club's turn of fortunes under Terry Wheeler's leadership which included the 1986 premiership victory over Coburg. Other feats, among many, included three Liston Trophy winners in three consecutive years (Barry Round, Brett McTaggart and Saade Ghazi) and the Under 19's score of 110.27 (687) against Geelong West in 1983 - the biggest ever score recorded in a game of Australian Rules. Several records were also set when the Seagulls visited Camberwell on August 10, 1986. Williamstown's score of 55.17 to 4.8 was the highest kicked in any senior VFA game, the winning margin of 315 points was the greatest of all time and Andrew Gibson's total of 22 goals was a club record, surpassing the 20 goals kicked by both Ron Todd in 1945 and Harry 'Soapy' Vallence in 1941. Williamstown's previous highest score had been 42.18 against Box Hill in 1985. The Seagulls had also won by 189 points when the teams met earlier in the season, although the Cobras did defeat the 'Town in 1985.
1980's Team of the Decade members present on the night
Back row: Kevin Sait, Ian Rickman, Kim Kershaw, Rob Dimartino, Glenn Murphy, Mark Fotheringham, Barry Round, Ian Fairley
Middle row: Rick Slevison, Grant Smith, Terry Wheeler, Lindsay Cahill, Brett McTaggart, Kevin Hughes, Paul John
Front: Wayne Muschialli
Club legends, Ray Smith and Mal Macpherson with Mal's 1950 Kornies cereal card, at the reunion of the 1949, 59 and 69 premiership sides, held at a luncheon at the Seaview Function Centre in July 2019. Mal was also inducted into the Williamstown Football Club Hall of Fame at the function, along with Ian 'Hucky' Johnson. Mal played 84 games for the Club and kicked 198 goals during a five-year career from 1946 to 1950, before a knee injury ended his VFA days. He played alongside the great Ron Todd and, in 1947, when Todd kicked 82 goals for Williamstown, Mal was second on the list with 60.
20yo Mal Macpherson in the 1949 Grand Final waiting for the ball to drop as Ron Todd (#1) flies for a mark
Mal Macpherson with his Hall of Fame certificate
Beginning his career in 1967, 'Hucky' Johnson played 71 games for Williamstown primarily as a tough and uncompromising backman under coach Max Papley. Johnson played in three consecutive grand finals for the Seagulls in 1968, '69 and '70, before finishing his career in 1973.
Ian 'Hucky' Johnson takes a big mark over a Sandringham opponent
Ian 'Hucky' Johnson with his Hall of Fame certificate
Former players pictured at the reunion of the 1949, 1959 and 1969 premiership teams held in July
Back row: Brian Kenny (69 - Thirds premiership), Ian 'Hucky' Johnson (69), Tom Russell (69), Max Hughes (49), Ken Barnes (69), John Raffle (69 - Reserves premiership), Jocka Mellis (69 - Reserves premiership coach), Robert Percy (69), Paul Hayward (69), Brian Harvey (69), John Whittington (69)
Front row: Bob Smith (69), Ray Smith (59), Mal Macpherson (49), George Mazouris (59), Kevin Jackman (69).
At the end of the season, 2019 best and fairest winner, Leigh Masters (left), and Willie Wheeler announced they would both be playing with Yarrawonga in 2020
2019 vice-captain, Jack 'Milky' Charleston, travelled overseas in 2020 and discontinued his VFL career after 137 senior games since 2012
VFLW ruck Rachel Achampong left the Club at the end of the 2019 season after two years on the list