Season Summary: 2019
Williamstown VFLW player Sophie Van de Heuvel was drafted to AFLW side Geelong with pick number 2 in the national draft, while Michael Gibbons (Carlton), Ben Cavarra (Western Bulldogs), and Lachie Schultz and Brett Bewley (Fremantle) were picked up in the AFL draft.
2015 premiership defender Peter Faulks retired after 94 games at Williamstown over 8 seasons and 112 VFL games in total. Peter was also a VFL representative and made the VFL team of the year. Lachie George also departed due to work committments, while Daylan Kempster (Sunbury), Jordan Jomes (coach of Ocean Grove), Lachie Knight and Fletcher Carroll all returned to community football, although Carroll later found his way to Coburg.
The other retirement from Williamstown was Club games record holder Ben Jolley after 269 VFL games (217 with the Seagulls) and 82 goals. Ben came to Pt Gellibrand in 2008 and, over 11 seasons, won a record-equalling four Gerry Callahan Medals, 9 times was voted most valuable player by his teammates, was captain for a record-equalling 6 seasons (2012-2017) including the 2015 premiership, made the VFL team of the year 7 times and twice represented the State. He is a life member of both Williamstown and the VFL.
New recruits for 2019 included Sam McLarty (Collingwood VFL), Ben Kennedy (40 AFL games with Collingwood and Melbourne), Mitch Hibberd (4 AFL games with North Melbourne) and 2015 premiership player Nick Sing returned after a year with Collingwood VFL.
1969 premiership back-pocket, Bill Mitchell, passed away in January. Bill played 28 games in 1969-70 kicking 7 goals.
Highlights of the round 1 night game at Williamstown against Port Melbourne can be viewed by clicking on this link or copying and pasting the link into your web browser:
Highlights of the round 2 encounter at Frankston can be viewed by clicking on this link or copying and pasting the link into your web browser:
Sophie Van de Heuvel was drafted to AFLW side Geelong for the 2019 season
Lachie Schultz, Brett Bewley & Ben Cavarra were all drafted to AFL clubs for the 2019 season
Dual JJ Liston Medallist & Club best & fairest winner, Michael Gibbons, was drafted by Carlton
to read a report on Gibbons' first season at The Blues, click here https://www.afl.com.au/news/2019-07-31/from-broken-to-blues-how-carpet-layer-realised-his-afl-dream
Sam McLarty from Collingwood VFL, one of the first signings for the 2019 season
Nick Mellington, pictured in 2016 when playing with Richmond, joined Williamstown in 2019 from Coburg
Ben Kennedy, pictured here in 2017 playing for Casey Scorpions, was another 2019 recruit
2017 Coburg best & fairest winner, Liam Hunt, was also recruited to Williamstown in 2019
Ruckman Nick Meese in action against Port Melbourne in the round 1 night match against Port Melbourne
At a function held at Seaview on Friday, June 21, the 1980's Team of the Decade was announced, as well as the induction of four new members into the Hall of Fame. Former premiership players, Grant Smith and Glenn Murphy, along with former long-time support staff in Bob Pearman and Terry Maloney, had Hall of Fame membership bestowed upon them. Smith, employed as the club's first full time general manager in 1989, booted 79 goals from 76 games between 1985 and 1992 and is a dual premiership player, while Murphy - also a premiership hero in 1986 - kicked 40 goals from 122 games. Williamstown life member Terry Maloney won the best clubman award in 1983, with ex-president Tony Hanneberry accepting the award on his behalf. He was also the reserve grade team manager from 1971-1983 and continued that role as well as taking on the seniors team manager position from 1984-2011. Fellow life member Bob Pearman was represented by his brother Max to accept his Hall of Fame honour. Bob was team manager from 1980-1983, served as the club secretary from 1985-1989, was a board member for three years in the '90s and won the best clubman award in 1982. Great mates, both Terry and Bob are now deceased. Memories were certainly refreshed with recollections of significant events that took place in those days, such as the club's turn of fortunes under Terry Wheeler's leadership which included the 1986 premiership victory over Coburg. Other feats, among many, included three Liston Trophy winners in three consecutive years (Barry Round, Brett McTaggart and Saade Ghazi) and the Under 19's score of 110.27 (687) against Geelong West in 1983 - the biggest ever score recorded in a game of Australian Rules. Several records were also set when the Seagulls visited Camberwell on August 10, 1986. Williamstown's score of 55.17 to 4.8 was the highest kicked in any senior VFA game, the winning margin of 315 points was the greatest of all time and Andrew Gibson's total of 22 goals was a club record, surpassing the 20 goals kicked by both Ron Todd in 1945 and Harry 'Soapy' Vallence in 1941. Williamstown's previous highest score had been 42.18 against Box Hill in 1985. The Seagulls had also won by 189 points when the teams met earlier in the season, although the Cobras did defeat the 'Town in 1985.
1980's Team of the Decade members present on the night
Back row: Kevin Sait, Ian Rickman, Kim Kershaw, Rob Dimartino, Glenn Murphy, Mark Fotheringham, Barry Round, Ian Fairley
Middle row: Rick Slevison, Grant Smith, Terry Wheeler, Lindsay Cahill, Brett McTaggart, Kevin Hughes, Paul John
Front: Wayne Muschialli
Club legends, Ray Smith and Mal Macpherson with Mal's 1950 Kornies cereal card, at the reunion of the 1949, 59 and 69 premiership sides, held at a luncheon at the Seaview Function Centre in July 2019. Mal was also inducted into the Williamstown Football Club Hall of Fame at the function, along with Ian 'Hucky' Johnson. Mal played 84 games for the Club and kicked 198 goals during a five-year career from 1946 to 1950, before a knee injury ended his VFA days. He played alongside the great Ron Todd and, in 1947, when Todd kicked 82 goals for Williamstown, Mal was second on the list with 60.
20yo Mal Macpherson in the 1949 Grand Final waiting for the ball to drop as Ron Todd (#1) flies for a mark
Mal Macpherson with his Hall of Fame certificate
Beginning his career in 1967, 'Hucky' Johnson played 72 games for Williamstown primarily as a tough and uncompromising backman under coach Max Papley. Johnson played in three consecutive grand finals for the Seagulls in 1968, 69 and 70, before finishing his career in 1973.
Ian 'Hucky' Johnson takes a big mark over a Sandringham opponent
Ian 'Hucky' Johnson with his Hall of Fame certificate
Former players pictured at the reunion of the 1949, 1959 and 1969 premiership teams held in July
Back row: Brian Kenny (69 - Thirds premiership), Ian 'Hucky' Johnson (69), Tom Russell (69), Max Hughes (49), Ken Barnes (69), John Raffle (69 - Reserves premiership), Jocka Mellis (69 - Reserves premiership coach), Robert Percy (69), Paul Hayward (69), Brian Harvey (69), John Whittington (69)
Front row: Bob Smith (69), Ray Smith (59), Mal Macpherson (49), George Mazouris (59), Kevin Jackman (69).