Season Summary: 2005
2005 saw Rayden Tallis from Hawthorn and Christin Macri from the Western Bulldogs join the Club as playing assistant coaches. Macri had played previously with Williamstown in 2000 during the alignment with the Bulldogs and came second in the Gerry Callahan Medal and won the goalkicking.
Other recruits included Dean Galea, Jackson Barling, Scott Meyer, Liam Picken, Patrick Rose and David Stretton. Players departing included Marcus Baldwin and Matthew Cape.
The season got off to a bad start with losses in the first two games to Box Hill at Williamstown (92-70) followed by a big loss at Werribee (165-74). The first win (101-60) came in round 4 against Springvale at Pt. Gellibrand, which was Troy West’s 206th game for the Seagulls, taking him past Ray Smith’s long-standing games record with the Club, set in 1961.
Sadly, West was badly injured in the game against Bendigo in round 6 and was forced into retirement after 208 games and 22 goals for the ‘Town since making his debut in 1994 against Oakleigh at Warrawee Park.
Three narrow losses in a row in rounds 7-9 to Port Melbourne (6 points), the Bullants (17 points) and Geelong (3 points) made the finals look a distant prospect, but three consecutive wins in rounds 11-13 against Box Hill, Werribee and Springvale gave the team a glimmer of hope. Werribee were unbeaten at that stage of the season, and the Box Hill game was memorable for the fact that AFL legend Nathan Buckley appeared in a Williamstown jumper and that Liam Picken made his debut and kicked the goal to seal the win.
Five losses in the last seven games, plus Collingwood’s severe injury list (only four Collingwood players appeared in the five-point loss to Tasmania) and injuries to Brad Lloyd and Rayden Tallis, saw Williamstown finish in ninth place on the ladder with seven wins and eleven losses, but only missing out on the finals by a mere 4%.
On a more positive note, Jackson Barling played 12 senior games in his first season and won the Fothergill-Round Medal which is awarded to the most promising young talent in the VFL competition with the most potential to reach the AFL. Also, promising young players Liam Picken, Scott Meyer and Dean Galea made their senior debuts. Heath Lawry and Matty Pearce also had their best seasons to date in the seniors.
The Reserves finished on top of the ladder in that grade with 16 wins and only two losses, and defeated North Ballarat in the second-semi final (97-86) before meeting the Roosters again in the grand final. Under Anthony Eames once again, they won their third premiership in four years by defeating North Ballarat 16.7.103 to 12.9.81. Dean Galea kicked all four of Williamstown’s goals in the first quarter and six out of the first seven to guide the team to the flag. Nick McArdle was voted best-on-ground to win the Fred Hill Memorial Medal, while Picken, Barling, Meyer, Rose and Shelton were also amongst the best players.
Jeremy Dukes was awarded the Gerry Callahan Medal, won the goalkicking award with 31 majors and also took home the Ron James Memorial Trophy for most valuable player for the second year in a row. Dukes played the first three games in the reserves following a limited preseason. His first senior game came in round 4 and he played a total of 16 games in 2005. He was sensational at Centre Half Forward and Full Forward with his best a haul of 6 coming in the round 17 loss to Port Melbourne. Patrick Rose took out the Bill Sheahan Memorial Trophy for Reserves best and fairest. Statistician Kathy Sheahan was awarded the Bill 'Darkie' Raffle Memorial Trophy for best clubperson.
The Club’s second gaming venue, The Club, located at Caroline Springs opened on December 22.
Williamstown's 2005 playing list
2005 head coach, Brad Gotch
2005 playing assistant coach Rayden Tallis
Defender Sam Cranage in 2005
2005 captain Brad Lloyd
Nathan Buckley in action against Box Hill in round 11
Nathan Buckley and Andrew Williams celebrate in the round 11 game at Box Hill
Nathan Buckley flanked by Sam Cranage (left) and Luke Jarrad (right)
2005 Fothergill-Round Medallist, Jackson Barling
2005 debutant, Scott Meyer
Brad Lloyd marks strongly during 2005
Troy West became the Club games record-holder when he passed Ray Smith's tally of 205 in round 4 v. Springvale at Williamstown
Former captain & Club games record-holder, Troy West, retired after a bad injury in round 6