Season Summary: 2015
Delisted St Kilda forward Sam Dunell joined the Club in 2015 along with Brett Bewley and Billy Myers from the Western Jets, while Ryan Ferguson retired after one year with the Club, Ben Davies opted to play local football in 2015 and Kane Lambert was drafted by Richmond.
The VFL competition altered again in 2015 with the withdrawal of Bendigo after two winless seasons, reducing the number of teams to 15. Channel 7 began telecasting matches in this season after the ABC ceased sports broadcasting due to budget cutbacks after 27 years of VFA/VFL coverage.
The season began promisingly with three consecutive wins:
· against the Northern Blues at Carlton in a thriller by one point, 13.12.90 to 12.17.89, with Peter Faulks best-on-ground;
· against Sandringham in the season’s first home game by 58 points, 17.12.114 to 7.14.56, featuring a 10 goal to 3 second half and a seven-goal third term, with Anthony Anastasio kicking 4 goals and Ed Carr best; and
· over North Ballarat at Eureka Stadium by 81 points, 17.19.121 to 5.10.40, highlighted by a nine-goal to nil first half with Ben Jolley best player.
Two narrow defeats, both by two points, to Port at Williamstown (102-100, Dunell 4 goals & best player) and then to Werribee at Werribee (96-94, Marcon best) followed in rounds 4 & 5. This ended a run of 12 consecutive wins over the ‘Bees, and was their first win over the Seagulls since 2008.
The team bounced back with another three wins in succession in rounds 6-8:
· against Coburg at Williamstown, 17.20.122 to 6.8.44, in Ben Jolley’s 200th VFL game;
· against Geelong at Geelong, 11.16.82-12.8.80, in the fourth game won or lost by two points or less in this season; and
· against Footscray at Whitten Oval, 9.22.76 to 5.7.37, in captain Jolley’s 150th game for Williamstown and vice-captain Cameron Lockwood’s 100th.
Going into the round 9 bye, Williamstown were on top of the ladder with 6 wins and 2 losses, while the Development League team were also on top undefeated with 7 victories.
The Seagulls then lost badly to Box Hill at Pt Gellibrand, 19.8.122 to 8.12.60, before stringing together five consecutive wins:
· over Richmond at Punt Road, 14.23.107 to 10.7.67, after kicking 3.12 in the third term and Mitch Banner being best player;
· against Essendon at Williamstown, 20.8.128 to 13.6.84, after the Bombers were two goals up at half-time before the Seagulls unleashed a nine-goal third quarter, with Adam Marcon best;
· over Frankston at Williamstown, 21.21.147 to 6.4.40, in Scott Clouston’s 50th VFL game; and
· against Port at North Port (113-53) and Collingwood at Pt Gellibrand (97-65).
A loss to Footscray at home in round 17 (73-62) was the first defeat in six weeks and cost Williamstown top spot on the ladder and preceded a win at Casey (96-79, Dunell 5 goals, Jolley best) after the Seagulls trailed by 7 points early in the last quarter. A second loss for the season to Werribee at Williamstown (88-73, Lockwood 5 goals) cost the Seagulls the chance of a home final as they dropped to third place but was followed by a great win at Box Hill against the ladder leaders in the last home-and-away game, 11.16.82 to 10.8.68, with Dunell kicking another 4 and Taylor Hine being best player.
Williamstown finished 3rd on the ladder with 13 wins and 5 losses, while the Development League team finished 2nd with 11 wins and 5 losses. The Seagulls met Sandringham on their Beach Road home ground in the qualifying final where an extremely strong wind blew to the southern end of the ground all day. The ‘Town were 48 points up at three-quarter time before the Zebras kicked 6 unanswered goals with the wind in the last quarter to almost snatch victory, but the ‘Gulls hung on to win by 7 points, 13.6.84 to 11.11.77. Best players were Nick Meese, Adam Marcon, Willie Wheeler, Jack Johnstone, Ben Bese and Ben Jolley.
Williamstown then met Essendon at North Port Oval in the preliminary final and, after being 27 points up midway through the third quarter, suddenly found themselves trailing by 5 points at three-quarter time. A spirited final term saw the Seagulls through to the grand final for the first time since 2011 by triumphing 15.12.102 to 12.18.90.
The grand final was against Box Hill at Etihad Stadium before a crowd of 12,900 and, following an even first half, the Seagulls kicked 11 goals to two in the second half, including 5 in 17 minutes in the third quarter, to run out 54-point winners, 18.12.120 to 8.18.66. This was Williamstown’s first premiership since 2003, which was also won against Box Hill, and the first as a stand-alone Club since 1990 and its 16th VFA/VFL title. Cameron Lockwood, Dylan Conway and Andrew Gallucci all kicked three goals, while Michael Gibbons was best-on-ground and received the Norm Goss Medal. Other good players were Jolley, Marcon, Banner, Lockwood, Masters and Charleston. It was coach Andy Collins’ second flag after leading Sandringham to the premiership in 1997.
Williamstown's 2015 premiership side was:
Backs: Jack Charleston David Fahey Tim Currie
Half-Backs: Brad Mangan Peter Faulks Jack Johnstone
Centres: Mitch Banner Ben Jolley (c.) Ed Carr
Half-Forwards: Sam Dunell Scott Clouston Cameron Lockwood
Forwards: Leigh Masters Sean Tighe Dylan Conway
Followers: Nick Meese Adam Marcon
Rover: Willie Wheeler
Interchange: Andrew Gallucci, Anthony Anastasio, Nick Sing, Michael Gibbons, Billy Myers
Coach: Andy Collins
The Development League won their 3rd consecutive premiership under new coach Shane Joyce a week earlier when they defeated Box Hill once again and for the 2nd time in 3 years by a ‘golden point’ kicked by Jake Owen, 8.13.61 to 8.12.60. Jake McKenzie was best-on-ground and was awarded the Fred Hill Memorial Medal, while other good players were Jake Greiser, Sean Hetherington, Jacob Chisari, Taylor Hine and Owen. Hetherington also kicked three goals.
Captain Ben Jolley won his fourth Gerry Callahan Medal for senior best and fairest for the season, from first-year player Sam Dunell and Mitch Banner. Dunell was also leading goalkicker with a total of 41. This brought Jolley level with premiership ruckman Kim Kershaw (1983-86) for the most number of best and fairest awards won at the Club. He also took out his sixth Ron James Memorial Trophy for most valuable player. Jake Greiser took out the Bill Sheahan Memorial Trophy for best and fairest in the Development League team from Simon Deery and Tyler Curtis. Life memberships were awarded to support staff Max Atkin and Jami Moran, while senior vice-captain, Cameron Lockwood, received his for achieving his 100th game in round 8.
Other notable events during the year were:
Recruit Sam Dunell was runner-up in the Liston Trophy, just one vote behind the winner. Ben Jolley was in third place.
2015 senior playing list
Delisted St Kilda forward, Sam Dunell, was recruited to the Club in 2015
The Club's longest-serving President, Trevor Monti, entered his last full season in the position in 2015
The season opener at Carlton resulted in a narrow one-point victory over the Northern Blues
The first home game of the season saw Williamstown victorious by almost 10 goals over Sandringham
Another big victory in round 3, this time over North Ballarat by more than 13 goals
Peter Faulks marks against Port Melbourne in round 4, 2015
Andrew Gallucci in action during 2015
Liam Carter played in the 2015 Development League premiership team
Andrew Gallucci shooting for goal at Williamstown during 2015
Ben Jolley after his 200th VFL game against Coburg at Williamstown in round 6
Ben Jolley in his 150th game for Williamstown v. Footscray at Whitten Oval, round 8
Another comfortable victory, this time by almost 7 goals over Richmond at Punt Road in round 11
Round 12 saw victory over Essendon at Williamstown by more than 7 goals
Dylan Conway celebrates a goal v. Frankston in round 13 at Williamstown
Peter Faulks punches the ball clear against Frankston in round 13
Anthony Anastasio in 2015
Adam Marcon in action v. Footscray at Williamstown in round 17
Western Jets recruit, Brett Bewley, made his senior debut in 2015
Dylan Conway gets a kick away against Casey in round 18
Jake Owen fires off a handball in the round 18 fixture at Casey Fields
Scott Clouston takes a big grab at Box Hill in the last home-and-away game for the season
Senior team list for qualifying final against Sandingham at Trevor Barker Beach Oval
Sam Dunell breaks clear in the qualifying final at Sandringham
Ben Jolley marks strongly against Sandringham in the qualifying final
Defender David Fahey heads upfield in the preliminary final against Essendon
Ben Jolley spoils in preliminary final v. Essendon
Ben Bese in action v. Essendon in preliminary final before injuring his collarbone which ended his season
Ben Jolley in action v. Essendon in preliminary final at North Port Oval
Tim Currie outmarks his Essendon opponent in the preliminary final
David Fahey gets a fist in v. Essendon at North Port Oval in the 2015 preliminary final
Ben Jolley heads downfield in preliminary final v. Essendon at North Port Oval
Defender Peter Faulks takes possession against Essendon in the preliminary final
Nick Meese in a contest with Essendon's Shaun McKernan in the preliminary final won by the Seagulls
Development League team list for 2015 qualifying final against Box Hill
The Development League team won their 3rd consecutive premiership by defeating Box Hill for the 2nd time in 3 years by a ‘golden point’, 8.13.61 to 8.12.60.
Adam Marcon received the Fothergill-Round Medal in 2015
Dylan Conway with his A. Todd Medal for the Development League best and fairest
Opposing coaches in the 2015 Grand Final, Andy Collins and Marco Bello
Vice-captain Cameron Lockwood celebrates one of his three goals in the 2015 Grand Final triumph.
Captain Ben Jolley in the 2015 Grand Final v. Box Hill at Etihad Stadium
Mitch Banner, one of the better players in the Grand Final against Box Hill
Peter Faulks gets a fist in against Box Hill in the Grand Final
Michael Gibbons with his Norm Goss Medal for best-on-ground in the 2015 Grand Final
Victory celebrations after the 2015 Grand Final
Peter Faulks and Mitch Banner, with a reminder about Ben Bese's courage in the preliminary on Faulks' hand
Captain Ben Jolley and coach Andy Collins with the 2015 premiership cup
Supporters celebrate the Grand Final victory back at the Seaview Function Centre later in the night