Season Summary: 1960
Williamstown entered the 1960's after the most successful period in the club's history. The Seagulls won five premierships in six years during the 1950's (1954, 1955, 1956, 1958 & 1959), showcasing the dominance that the club had on the competition at the time.
The 1960 season saw a major transition at the Seagulls, with legendary ruckman Gerry Callahan deciding to pull the pin on his playing career, taking on a sole coaching role at the club. Players to debut with Williamstown in 1960 were future 200-game player Tom Russell, Graham Clough (the Thirds best and fairest winner from 1959), Don Carmichael, Alan McAsey, John Cope and Maurie Collins.
1960 also proved to be a transition period for the Victorian Football Association itself, with the league moving some matches to a Sunday in an attempt to boost crowd attendances. This was to combat the ever-growing popularity of the then-VFL which had been impacting on the Association's audiences. However, Williamstown did not play a home game on a Sunday until 1963, preferring to hold revenue-raising after-match functions on a Saturday night and treat sore and injured players on a Sunday morning. Sixteen-a-side football was continued and the finals were to be contested by the top six sides.
After the round 8 defeat at Northcote, the Club found itself in ninth position on the ladder with four wins and four losses and the season in the balance. What followed was ten successive victories to round out the home-and-away season in third place on the seventeen-team ladder (the biggest number since 1887 with Prahran's return to the competition), including big wins at Prahran (69 points - Clough and McAsey four goals each), at home against Camberwell (73 points - Bob Jones 6 goals), at Yarraville (49 points), at home against Brunswick (55 points - Tom Pelly four goals), at home against Sunshine (65 points - Clough four goals) and at home against Northcote (72 points) in the final round. Two more victories followed in the first elimination final v. Coburg (82-47) and in the first semi v. Yarraville (67-62) before meeting Oakleigh in the preliminary final. Played in shocking conditions, Williamstown registered only four goals before going down to the eventual premiers, 6.12.48 to 4.9.33, before a crowd of 8,000.
While Williamstown were unable to add to their premiership tally in 1960, the club still finished with a very strong 18-4 win/loss record, including twelve consecutive victories. It was the Club's eighth successive finals series, during which time five premierships were won and three third placings. The biggest milestone to come out of the season was champion player and first-year captain Ray Smith breaking the club games record, in a season that saw him claim back-to-back best and fairest honours and finish fourth in the Liston Trophy. Tom Pelly was the Club leading goalkicker with a total of 42. Team-of-the-Century member Eric Beitzel played his 100th senior game for the Club during the season.
Williamstown's big names have shown great initial signs in their first games for 2019 against Sandringham on Saturday afternoon.Read more ...