Season Summary: 1950

The 1950 season saw the controversial appointment of 116-game Melbourne follower Adrian "Spud" Dullard as playing-coach, which meant the premiership coach of the previous season, Gordon Ogden, was effectively sacked. The board of the time overwhelmingly elected to revert to a playing coach, reversing the narrow vote to have a non-playing coach taken in 1948. Ogden, who played 56 games for Williamstown up until 1945, and coached for five seasons (1939-41 and 1948-49), took up umpiring in 1950 and then would go on to coach Yarraville from 1951-1955. Ogden also coached Williamstown to the 1939 premiership and into the 1948 grand final, which was lost to Brighton by just nine points.

Dullard, father of the player from the 1980's, Tony Dullard, was made captain and Reg Featherby vice-captain in place of Colin Wilcox who immediately announced his disagreement with the committee's decision on the coaching position and resigned. Thus ended the career after 173 games of one of the best players ever to wear a Williamstown guernsey. Named on a half-back flank in the Team of the Century, Wilcox came across from Melbourne in 1938 and gave wonderful service as a centre-half back, on the half-back flank and occasionally at full back. He played in three premierships (1939, 1945 & 1949) and won the best & fairest award in 1948. He was a good clubman, which he demonstrated during the war recess when several League clubs strove hard for his services. He always told them he would wait for the VFA to resume so that he would be immediately available for Williamstown.

Other players departing the club after 1949 were the great Ron Todd (retired), Bill Wells (coach of Maryborough), Harold Peacock & Theo Greenland (Heywood), Alan Strang (coach of Wagga), Bill Redmond (Eaglehawk) and Bruce Chapman (coach of Newport). Recruits included Vin Morrisey (22 games with Footscray), Don Rogers (Brunswick), and good local players Laurie Gunn (Footscray), future president of the club Syd Wookey from the Seconds, Jack Dorgan (Melbourne), 18 year-old John Fowler (who kicked 120 goals for Spotswood in 1949), Jack Twist, Arthur Vernon and Cliff Poole, also from the Seconds.

Off the field, Alf Urban, who ran a chemist shop in Douglas Parade, stepped down from the presidency after three years and Harold Hosking, former secretary of the club, was elected, a post he would hold until the end of 1954. Peter McIntyre and Captain Gordon Liley were made life members.

The opening game of the season at home against Brunswick, saw the unfurling of the 1949 pennant and a nine-point defeat (10.12.72 to 9.9.63), the club's first round one loss since 1937 and Brunswick's first win at Pt. Gellibrand since 1938. It was also the first time that a club, after unfurling the flag, had lost at home since Prahran beat Footscray at Footscray in 1909. Brunswick nearly achieved the feat when it drew with Coburg at Coburg on the first day of the 1930 season. The ‘Wicks repeated the effort later in the year when the teams played at Brunswick.

The loss saw Williamstown in tenth place, but four consecutive wins improved the situation a good deal and the club finished the season in third place with 13 wins from 19 games, and thanks to a one-point victory over Sandringham in the last match of the home-and-away round. Coburg were on the same number of wins prior to this game and with a better percentage but lost whilst the 'Town won. Oakleigh, Port Melbourne, Williamstown and Brighton made up the final four that would contest the finals.

Having missed the double chance for the first time since 1945, 'Town came up against Brighton in the first semi-final at the Junction Oval, St Kilda, before a crowd of 18,000. Williamstown went down 15.12.102 to 9.10.64 with Johnny Walker kicking five goals and the best players being Syd Wookey, Andy Taylor, Tony Dullard, Jack Dankert, Gordon Cameron and Walker. The club was dogged by injuries which, when added to the loss of quality players such as Todd, Greenland, Wells, Strang, Redmond, Chapman and Wilcox, brought the team back to the field. Mal McPherson suffered a knee injury which allowed him to play only a few matches, but the transfer of Johnny Walker to full-forward was the highlight of the season as he finished equal with Bruce Harper of Sandringham on 71 goals to head the Association goalkicking list.

Jack Danckert took out the best & fairest award for the season, whilst Reg Featherby and Lou Salvas both brought up their 100th senior appearance for the 'Town during the year.

During 1950 former players Jack Kenny, T. Hall and Syd Conlan, along with former official George Musicka passed away.

The reserves finished up losing their grand final to Coburg by just one goal, 8.11 to 7.11, the 'Burgers eleventh pennant in 24 years. Leo Tweedly won the Seconds best and fairest.

                                               1950 Argus newspaper badge

The unfurling of the 1949 pennant at the opening game of the 1950 season at home against Brunswick resulted in a nine-point defeat (10.12.72 to 9.9.63).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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