Once Friends, Now Enemies, The Alignment.


By Paddy Farley


As Williamstown and Collingwood grace the turf this Saturday, they will be publishing their own chapter in the rich history between the two clubs.

The modern-day VFL piece has been painted over and changed a magnitude of times over the past two decades. Football club’s folding, alignments and expansions of the competition and clubs is what has made the state-league set up so unique.

In 2001 Williamstown became aligned with Collingwood which would ultimately benefit both clubs in their respective ways.

Former Williamstown player and 2010 Collingwood premiership captain, Nick Maxwell has fond memories from his early days at Point Gellibrand and expresses the connection between the two groups and how it ultimately led to their success.

A strong culture that had been built from over 100 years of history was entrenched in Williamstown, even with the alignment.

“It’s like a small country town seven kilometres from the city, all of that comes from the environment and culture that is built around the football club,” Maxwell said.

Throughout the entire duration of the alignment, Williamstown was always able to produce an established side with players who made remarkable careers for themselves at VFL level along with individuals who would go on to play a reputable number of games at the top level.

“The likes of Troy West, Brad Lloyd and Sam Cranage made us feel so welcome and were so influential to what Willy was,” Maxwell expressed.


As the Collingwood senior team became a staple in September footy in the early 2000’s, spots became harder to come by which saw a lot of talented play in the blue and gold as they had to joust for their spot above them.

The culture at the football club in this period is a major driver to the success both Williamstown and Collingwood had as a ‘club’ or ‘club’s’ first mentality was at the forefront of everyone’s mind.

“Players that played a lot of AFL footy, Mark Richardson, Glenn Freeborn and Sam Cranage wouldn’t drop their bundle when they got dropped to Williamstown as they were so welcoming and had everyone’s best interest at heart,” the premiership captain exclaimed.

In 2003, Williamstown reached the top of their summit with a prolific season in both the VFL and the Development League. Claiming both premierships in what will go down as one of the great periods for the Williamstown Football Club.

22-years is a long time in football, it is sure to be an enthralling encounter this Saturday at DSV Stadium as there is no tomorrow for the defeated.












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