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From the Ballarat Courier
Reported by Melanie Whelan
Full article - Ballarat Courier

 Roosters captain Shaune Moloney reflects on the 2008 VFL premiership cup. The club went on to win the next two in an historic three-peat.

 BELIEF: Roosters captain Shaune Moloney reflects on the 2008 VFL premiership cup. The club went on to win the next two in an historic three-peat.

THIS was a huge risk but on this night, almost 10 years ago, players were ready. They believed.

North Ballarat Roosters defied the odds and claimed the club’s first Victorian Football League premiership. 

This was a country football team taking on the state’s best, cohesively working in players from a partial AFL alliance with North Melbourne and proving what many had thought was unlikely.

A decade on, Ballarat needs to decide, as a football community and a city, whether it can take the risk to believe again.

The VFL grand final is on Sunday afternoon. This is the first season in 22 years Ballarat has not been prepared to put a team out on the park to watch what might be possible for our region’s most promising players.

We can pretend like it does not greatly matter – we’ve got quality leagues and a good senior Ballarat Football League flag showdown set for Saturday. 

But it is not really a challenge anymore. We are comfortable and our best players are pretty comfortable.

There is still a VFL flavour about the BFL but this influence on the grassroots game will fade.

The Roosters offered a clear pathway for players in western Victoria and for other country footballers, who preferred the regional lifestyle and what Ballarat had to offer. This was particularly in being a place to study at university and play state league football without having to be based in Melbourne.

This was the pathway that has produced AFL talent like Hawthorn triple premiership midfielder Isaac Smith who, 10 years ago, was happily on his way to winning a flag with Redan in a quality Ballarat Football League final.

Redan encouraged Smith to take a leap of faith and try VFL about midway through the next season.

Or, like Sydney Swan Dean Towers, a Colac boy who was studying teaching at University of Ballarat. Towers won the Fothergill-Round Medal as VFL’s best under-23 player in 2012, then drafted a month later.

The pathway is about more than producing draftees.

Grand final night, a Friday in 2008, the Roosters were in uncharted territory. 

They had been in VFL grand finals before – this was their third – but this was something different. This night was the first VFL grand final under lights, the first at the Docklands stadium, the first in a double-header with TAC Cup under-18s and it turned out to be the first in a premiership trilogy.

Forums: 

From the Willy and Hobby website
Reported by David Llewellyn
Full artcle - Click here 

Seagulls scored several cabinet collectables for the Williamstown Football Club at this year’s VFL and VFLW Best and Fairest, recognising the achievements of some of its top players and reaping rewards for a team at the top of its league.

Star midfielder Michael Gibbons was awarded his second J.J. Liston Trophy in a dramatic count tying with AFL Listed Tiger Anthony Miles on 19 votes after an outstanding season averaging 28.6 disposals, 12 contested possessions and seven clearances.

Gibbons became the eighth multiple winner of the J.J. Liston Trophy in its history, and the third this decade, emulating the feats of Shane Valenti in 2010 and 2011, and Steve Clifton in 2010 and 2013.

 

He polled in eight games this season, as he did when winning the award back in 2016. He collected five best on grounds, won more than he did as runner up last year, with one set of two votes and two sets of one votes.

Gibbons also lead the VFL in kicks and inside 50s this year and, remarkably, from 18 games he was name Williamstown’s best players on 14 occasions. After being runner up in last year’s count, Gibbons said taking out the J.J. Liston Trophy again is a huge honour.

“It’s very humbling to win this award for the second time, I can’t thank my teammates and the club enough for all they’ve done for me in my five years down at Williamstown,” Gibbons said.

“I didn’t come here for individual awards but it’s very exciting to win this with a guy I’ve looked up to in Anthony Miles. Hopefully I can add to this medal in two weeks time with another premiership medal.”

It was a medal already added to VFL Team of the Year honours on the night, with those honours also enjoyed by Seagulls VFLW superstar Jess Duffin who took home the Lambert-Pearce medal for being the VFLW Best and Fairest for 2018.

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