Season Summary: 1966

Still with a largely inexperienced team on the park, the Seagulls set about to improve on their result in 1965 where they missed the finals. Recruits included Terry O'Mara from Fitzroy and Jeff Trotman and Bob Cohen, both from Carlton. The season got off to a bad start with defeats in six of the first seven games, the only victory being a six-goal win over Dandenong, 15.13.103 to 9.13.61 (Bob Ware four goals) in round six. Wins were then achieved in seven of the next eight games, including victories over eventual finalists Waverley, Yarraville and Preston. By round 15, the team was in sixth position but then lost two of the last three games, but finished the season with a six-goal win at home against the wooden-spooner, Oakleigh, 15.19.109 to 11.9.75 (Charlie Evans and George Savige six goals each). Despite the improved win-loss record at 9-9, Williamstown finished in sixth place, three games and percentage out of the four, which meant another finals series missed for the club. The second half of the season gave confidence for the future with the victories over all the finalists bar one and a realistic prospect of reaching the final four in the closing stages of the year.

It wasn't all bad news for the Seagulls however, with the reserves team under coach Jocka Mellis clinching the premiership over Sandringham by 23 points, the eighth pennant won by the Seconds team following success in 1916, 1917, 1919, 1941, 1948, 1955 and 1956 (premiers and champions). They had also been runners-up in 1918, 1949, 1950 and 1954. The Thirds also played off in the first semi-final in 1966. The Seconds and Thirds at Williamstown at the time had always operated as separate Clubs from the Seniors with their own president, committee, secretary, treasurer, training staff, life members, etc. and a strong ladies committee which enabled them to be self-supporting throughout the season. They also had their own annual reports and seasons tickets (see below) and their own annual general meetings.

Trotman won the Andy Taylor Memorial Trophy for best and fairest in his first season with the Seagulls from former Footscray players Charlie Evans and Bob Ware. Sadly Trotman was killed in a car accident late in 1967. George Savige was the leading goalkicker with a total of 32. Graham Clough made his 100th senior appearance for Williamstown during the season.

Fred Critchley's report on the Reserves premiership win

                   1966 Reserves side 

Back row: Roger Anderson, *Alan Page, Gary Jeremiah, *John Raffle, *Ron Leonard, *Ray Bamford, *Des Hosking (vice-captain), *Arthur Lee, *Gary Page, Merv Williams, Dick Pittard, *Kevin Rogan, *Jocka Mellis (captain-coach)

Front row: *Bobby Smith, *Dennis Blainey, *Alan Pietner, Paul Johns (mascot), *Jimmy O'Toole, *John Murrie

Absent: *Gary Fitch, *David Johnson, *Ken Collins, *Tom Robson.

 

*Member of premiership-winning grand final side

Wally Clark (trainer), John McConville (Thirds coach), John Grieve (Thirds Secretary) and Doug Nicholson (Thirds President), pictured in 1966

                                                   Williamstown Thirds committee 1966

Back row: Wally Clark (trainer), Brian Hately, Bill Hynes, John McConville (coach), Jim Whittington, unknown 

Front row: Alan Crocker, John Raffle, Doug Nicholson (President), John Grieve (secretary), Tom Carrick  

                                     Thirds vice-captain, John Whittington, in 1966

                                         Thirds player, John Coffey, in 1966

                                                 Williamstown Thirds, finalists 1966

Back row: Richard Borradale, Ray Titter, John Coffey, Richard Lewczuk, Alan Page, Rod Collinder, Micky Kizan, Graeme Budgen

Middle row: Davey Utber, Daryl Outen, Jeff Rollason, M. Good, R. Cruikshank, Gary Twentyman, Dowell Crocker, Serge Beani

Front row: D. Grey, Les Twentyman (captain), John McConville (coach), John Whittington (vice-captain), Andy Carrick

Mascot: Alan Whittington

                                     1966 Thirds mascot, Allan Whittington