Season Summary: 1980
Among changes introduced by the VFA from 1980 was the order-off rule for senior games - it had been used in thirds matches for some years - and the playing of seconds fixtures as curtain-raisers to first 16 games. The two-umpire system was adopted in the finals.
While there were alterations from an administrative aspect, Williamstown remained in fourth place on the field at the conclusion of the 1980 season. Before round 18, Mordialloc was third on the ladder with 10 wins, Waverley fourth with 10, Williamstown fifth with nine and Oakleigh sixth with nine. Williamstown was at home to Oakleigh and Mordialloc at home to Waverley. This meant the winner of the Williamstown game would displace the loser of the Mordialloc match. The Williamstown game was a thriller, with the Seagulls desperately defending a narrow lead to win 13.12 to 12.13. A fine second quarter, in which it kicked 8.4 to 0.2, set up Williamstown's win. Waverley, which won by 10 points at Mordialloc, was too accomplished for 'Town in the first semi-final and won 21.13 to 13.18. The match was the first in the VFA under two field umpires, Ric Casey and Bill Torney.
One of the highlights of the 1980 season was the round 16 game against Box Hill when Ian Fairley made his debut at only 15 years, 10 months and kicked eight goals to help the Seagulls to win 25.15 to 8.9. Fairley, a nephew of former Williamstown player Ron Page, went on to have a distinguished career with North Melbourne.
Williamstown seconds signalled that better days were ahead for the club by winning the premiership in 1980.
1980 playing list