Season Summary: 1998
Traralgon, which had managed only four wins and a draw to go with 31 defeats in its two seasons in the VFL, dropped out and returned to the Latrobe Valley Football League and was replaced by a Bendigo team in 1998. There was also a question mark over Preston's future in the competition but it ultimately made the finals, finishing in fifth position.
Saade Ghazi took over the captaincy from Tony Pastore in this season, with Merv Keane entering his third year as coach. An indifferent start to the season cost Williamstown the chance of playing in the finals. With only two wins in the first eight games, the Seagulls then played consistently to win the next five. The 'Town then had to play four of the five eventual finalists and lost every one, confirming that a finals berth was beyond them. A victory over Bendigo in the last round gave Williamstown eight wins from 18 home-and-away fixtures, missing out on a spot in the final six by just one game.
Danny Del Re proved useful in attack and his 60 goals for the season was the best by a Williamstown player since Ian Rickman's 82 in 1992. His fine season also earned him the club's Andy Taylor Memorial Trophy for best and fairest to go with the Bert Hodge Memorial Trophy as leading goalscorer. Full-back Troy West was awarded the Ron James Memorial Trophy for most valuable player, while Cameron Beazley won the Bill Sheahan Memorial Trophy as best and fairest in the Reserves, and the Bill 'Darkie' Raffle Memorial Trophy for best clubman went to Kevin Johnson.
The road back both emotionally and physically for Hayden Walters, Christian Buykx-Smith and Jack Dorgan.Read more ...