Season Summary: 1983


By the start of the 1983 season the Seagulls had added former Melbourne player Tony Dullard, whose father Adrian had played with 'Town from 1950-53, and Greg Towns, formerly of Carlton and Footscray. Ian Fairley had been cleared to North Melbourne. A 97-point win at home against Werribee in the opening round and an 82-point win at Camberwell in round 5 added credence to Williamstown's expected rise up the ladder. However, two further losses convinced Hobbs that Oborne was not the right man to coach the Club and sacked him. Hobbs chose to relinquish the presidency in favour of Hannebery and took over the coaching role for the rest of the season while the Club looked for a new captain-coach.

The Club's upheaval did not sit well with the players and the Seagulls won only four games for the season, remaining in 11th position. Relegation was never a threat because Waverley lost all 18 games. Despite the side's lack of success, Fotheringham kicked 108 goals - or 37.5 per cent of the team's total - to head the VFA list. He and Dullard also were selected in the VFA side that played the VAFA. Recruit ruckman Kim Kershaw, who had played with League clubs Richmond and Hawthorn, won the first of four consecutive best and fairest awards.

Perhaps the most encouraging aspects of season 1983 for Williamstown was the attendance of Footscray veteran Terry Wheeler at the club's last game of the year. Hobbs was keen to acquire him as a coach and president Hannebery, who had the business backing of the Williamstown community, took the next step in convincing him to take the job. So well did Wheeler perform over the next five years that he returned to Footscray as senior coach in 1990. 'Wheeler brought a new dimension to Williamstown Football Club as a real professional who would accept nothing less than the best about everything. There was a real change of atmosphere with Terry. He brought good footballers from AFL clubs, and probably the most significant step was when Barry Round was convinced to come to the Club', John Grieve reflected.


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