Season Summary: 2010
The start of a new decade saw the appointment of a new coach at the Club in ex-North Melbourne player Peter German, replacing Brad Gotch after eight seasons. Captain Brett Johnson continued on as on-field leader for a fourth year. Adam Potter was appointed as coach of the Reserves, after Saade Ghazi finished up the year before. Recruits included Peter Faulks, who followed German over from the Casey Scorpions, as well as Ed Carr and Nick Sing from TAC Cup side Gippsland Power. Future Sydney Swans co-captain Dane Rampe also debuted in the Seniors with Williamstown in this season after spending 2009 in the Reserves.
Players departing the Club included Xavier Gotch & Dylan Joyce (South Adelaide), Tommy Langlands & Scott Meyer (Wodonga Raiders), Dean Galea (Port Melbourne), Jason Cloke (Bendigo), Chris Egan (Echuca) while Patrick Rose was rookie-listed by the Western Bulldogs but played with Williamstown.
Gold Coast played in the VFL for just the one season in 2010 in preparation for its entry into the AFL the following year. This was the first new club to join the competition since Tasmania in 2001.
The season commenced brightly with a five-goal win at Collingwood in round one, helped by an eight goal to two opening quarter. Matthew Little kicked seven goals and Ed Carr debuted. A trip to the Gold Coast followed, resulting in a six-goal victory (Little 5 goals) before a one-point loss to Sandringham in the first home game for the year in round 3. Five consecutive victories followed:
· against Port by 28 points at Pt Gellibrand (Ben Davies best);
· against Werribee by 26 points also at home, thanks to an 11-goal last quarter after trailing by 45 points in the third quarter (Little 5 goals);
· then a 57-point win at Coburg after being five goals down at quarter time and then kicking another 11 goals in the third quarter (Little 5 goals, Matthew Grossman best). This was Ben Jolley’s 100th VFL game;
· by seven goals over Box Hill at Williamstown (Little 5 goals); and
· a 50-point victory at Frankston, which put the Seagulls on top of the ladder after eight rounds.
The round nine clash at North Ballarat resulted in a narrow four-point loss, with former Rooster Andrew Hooper kicking four goals and being named best. Western Bulldog legend Brad Johnson made his sole appearance for Williamstown in this game.
Round 10 saw Brad Gotch return to Pt Gellibrand as coach of the ladder-leading Casey Scorpions and depart with a 124-point defeat (Little 8 goals). This saw Williamstown retake top spot on the ladder with 8 wins and 2 losses (by one point and four points), with the Reserves also on top with 9 wins and one loss and Matthew Little leading the VFL goalkicking on 44. The match marked captain Brett Johnson’s 150th VFL game.
Jason Akermanis played the first of several games for Williamstown (before being sacked by the Western Bulldogs) at Sandringham in a 10-goal victory in round 11 (Little 7 goals) and then he kicked five goals in a 69-point win at Geelong after the Seagulls were seven goals up at quarter time in round 12.
Two more big victories over Coburg at Pt Gellibrand by ten goals and at Preston over the Northern Bullants by twelve goals (Rose 6 goals, Little 5) saw the Seagulls still head the ladder after 14 rounds with 12 wins and the two narrow defeats and a percentage of 162.76%, with the Reserves also on top with 13 wins and one loss and a percentage of 174.33%. The game against the Bullants also marked Ben Davies’ 100th VFL appearance.
The season’s third loss by just three points to Bendigo at Williamstown followed after the Bombers were 5 goals up at quarter time (Rose 4 goals), before a 49-point win at Werribee in round 16 (Little 6 goals, Rose 5).
The season rounded out with an 11-goal win against Frankston (Rose and Little 5 goals each) in the last home game until 2012 due to renovations of the WL Floyd Pavilion and ground improvements, and then a 94-point victory at Box Hill in the last home-and-away round. The Hawks’ score of 7.6 was its lowest of the year and came after seven consecutive wins. Little kicked another five goals to give him 80 for the season and the Frosty Miller Medal for the VFL’s leading goal scorer. He kicked 5 goals or more 11 times during the season.
This saw Williamstown lead the ladder with 15 wins and three narrow defeats and a percentage of 165.7%, but the Club gave up its right to a home final due to the works being carried out at the ground. The Reserves also headed the list in that grade with 16 wins and two losses and a percentage of 184.6%.
The Qualifying Final was played against Port Melbourne at Box Hill and resulted in a 58-point victory, 19.15.129 to 10.11.71, after being six goals up at quarter time in captain Brett Johnson’s 100th game for Williamstown. This was the team’s seventh win by 50 points or more in the past eight games, with the other victory being by 49 points. Matthew Little kicked three goals.
The Preliminary Final was also played at Box Hill, this time against the Northern Bullants and resulted in a 26-point defeat, 16.8.104 to 11.12.78, in a disappointing end to the season. This was the third time in four years that the Seagulls had lost a preliminary. Peter Faulks, Dane Rampe and Ben Davies were best for the ‘Town, while Matthew Little kicked just one goal to finish with 84 for the season.
The Reserves won their knockout Preliminary Final and then met Box Hill in the Grand Final. The scores were level late in the game before the Hawks kicked the last three goals of the game to run out winners 17.20.122 to 16.9.105. Mick Tanner booted seven goals for the Seagulls. Seconds captain Matthew Cravino won the A. Todd Medal for the VFL Reserves best and fairest in this season.
Long-time head trainer, life member and Club legend Kelly Brent passed away on February 21, while rover in the 1954, ’55 & ’56 premiership teams, Alby Linton, also died on April 11 aged 83. Linton joined Williamstown from Footscray in 1953 and played 87 games and kicked 226 goals over four seasons with the ‘Gulls. He won the Club’s best and fairest in 1955 and was leading goalkicker in the three premiership years, and was also the VFA leading goal scorer in 1955 with 84. He was named first rover in Williamstown’s Team of the Century and was an inaugural inductee into the Club’s Hall of Fame.
Brett Johnson won his second Gerry Callahan Medal this season, after tying with Liam Picken for the award in 2008. Ben Jolley was runner-up and Peter Faulks and Ben Davies tied for third placing. Mick Tanner was the winner of the Bill Sheahan Memorial Trophy for best and fairest in the Reserves, from Luke Cartelli and Nick Sing. Matthew Little was Club leading goalkicker, and Ben Jolley won his second Ron James Memorial Trophy for Most Valuable Player. The Bill ‘Darkie’ Raffle Memorial Trophy for best clubperson went to Mandy Drew. Life memberships were also awarded to President of the past 12 seasons Trevor Monti, long-serving Treasurer Graeme Kennedy, board member Graham Bird and captain Brett Johnson for his 100 games for the Club.
Club 1864, the past players and officials association, was launched in 2010, while it was announced that Williamstown would compete in the Foxtel Cup to be played from the 2011 season. The alignment with the Western Bulldogs was extended for a further three years, and works commenced on the WL Floyd Pavilion on December 10. ‘Where the Seagulls Nest’, an historical video by the son of former scoreboard operator Vin Maskell was released in 2010.
This video can be viewed by copying and pasting the following link into your internet browser:
Peter Faulks followed new coach Peter German over from the Casey Scorpions
Former Casey Scorpions coach, Peter German, was appointed Williamstown coach for the 2010 season
Newly-appointed Reserves coach, Adam Potter
2010 was the fourth year of captaincy by Brett Johnson
Williamstown's 2010 playing list
Matthew Little with his Frank Johnson Medal won in 2010
Ben Jolley in 2010
Jason Akermanis against Coburg in round 13
Brownlow medallist, Jason Akermanis, playing for Williamstown in 2010
Bulldogs-listed player, Tim Callan, marks strongly against the Bullants
Williamstown Reserves 2010 playing list
Dame Rampe, one of Williamstown's better players in the preliminary final loss to the Bullants in 2010.
Three-time premiership rover Alby Linton (right) in 2003, passed away in 2010 aged 83yo