Season Summary: 1977
1977 was the centenary year of the VFA, but the return to top flight football was not met with the upmost of confidence due to a lack of finances for the club to acquire new players. A fifth new President in the five years since Arthur Johnson stepped down from the role was appointed in Des Luckhurst, and players from the previous year who departed included Field Medallist Colin Boyd. In addition, premiership player Greg Boxall was injured for most of the year and played only five games, while Mildenhall and Burgess did not play at all.
Unfortunately, the writing was on the wall very early in the campaign. Despite an encouraging effort in the opening game at Geelong West and then a one-point victory over Prahran at Pt. Gellibrand the following week, relegation was inevitable with the side unable to keep up with the rest of the competition and suffering some huge defeats to 1976 premier Port Melbourne by 100 points in round 3, by 79 points to 1976 runners-up Dandenong in round 5, Port again by 63 points in round 12, Sandringham by 59 points in round 16 and Preston by 67 points in round 17. The only other victory was over Caulfield in round 9, but games were narrowly lost to Sandringham by 4 points in round 7, by 5 points to Preston in round 8, by nine points at Prahran in round 11, to Coburg by two points in round 13, to Dandenong by one point in round 14 and to Brunswick by one point in round 15. The Seagulls would finish last with a 2-16 win-loss record and a percentage of 75.9, three wins behind ninth-placed Preston, and were relegated back down to second division.
John Fanning played his 100th senior game during the year, while defender Frank Pocervina was awarded the Andy Taylor Memorial Trophy for the best and fairest player for the season in the seniors. Brian Lowe was runner-up and Peter Gardner in third place. Lowe and Gardner also shared the goalkicking honours for the season with a total of 41. Tony McVeigh won the Reserves best and fairest award. The Seconds failed to make the finals and the Thirds were beaten by Brunswick in the first-semi.
Captain/coach Mal Allen departed at the end of the season, along with Bob Percy (1969-1977 135 games, 63 goals, 1976 Premiership Player).
Life member and long-serving committeeman Cec Page passed away during the year. Former Club secretary in 1974, committeeman and manager of the Thirds, Les Dooley, also passed away.
1977 playing list
The road back both emotionally and physically for Hayden Walters, Christian Buykx-Smith and Jack Dorgan.Read more ...