Williamstown News

Seagulls overcome resistance

From the Sunday Age
Reported by Michael Sharkie

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WILLIAMSTOWN consolidated its position at the head of the VFL ladder yesterday, trouncing a spirited but depleted Box Hill at Burbank Oval 23.15 (153) to 13. 12 (90).

The match may have shaped as a mismatch, with Williamstown — the second-best offence in the VFL — unbackable favourite against the Hawks, the worst-ranked defensive team. But early on, at least, the game proved an entertaining contest, with the young Hawks throwing everything they had at the flag favourite, before the match reverted to script.

Continuing its good first-quarter form, Box Hill jumped the ladder leader early and successfully strangled Williamstown\'s running play with intense pressure through the middle, forcing the usually composed Seagulls into committing repeated turnovers. To make matters worse, Williamstown lost key forward Wayde Skipper to a knee injury late in the first term, leaving the bulk of the forward work to ex-Magpie Jason Cloke.

Seagulls hand Roosters first loss

From The Age
Reported by Carley Jellet

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WILLIAMSTOWN has handed North Ballarat its first defeat of the season, beating the Roosters by 17 points in a top-of-the-table clash at Burbank Oval yesterday.

As expected from the two top sides, the match was a tight contest from the first bounce.

Seagulls coach Bradley Gotch said he was happy to beat the undefeated Roosters but lamented his side's missed opportunities in front of goal: "In the third quarter we kicked three (goals and) nine (points and), we hit the post three times," he said. "It would have been nice … to put a bigger gap in it at three-quarter-time. To North Ballarat's credit, they kept coming at us all day. I thought they played pretty good footy."
Williamstown's big forwards were prominent with Dean Galea, Wayde Skipper, Jarrad Grant and Callan Ward kicking 11 goals between them. Guy O'Keefe was one of the Seagulls' best with three goals.

Seagulls loving life in Dog's house

From Leader Group Newspapers
Reported by Howard Leigh

WILLIAMSTOWN president Trevor Monti is convinced his club's alignment with the Western Bulldogs is ticking over smoothly despite last Saturday's 32-point loss to reigning VFL premier Geelong at Skilled Stadium.

He said it is more harmonious than the relationship with Collingwood which came to a conclusion at the end of last season.

"We are travelling terrifically well," Monti said. "Our relationship is far more effective, more satisfying and closer and more intimate than we had at Collingwood.

"Both clubs are really enjoying it. I believe I can speak for the Western Bulldogs, when I say we are both really happy."

Collingwood clipped by old friends

From the Sunday Age
Reported by Carley Jellet

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WILLIAMSTOWN beat its former friend, now foe, Collingwood, by 68 points yesterday, while Port Melbourne fought hard against Sandringham to win by one point.

The Seagulls kicked nine goals to one in the final term to turn a 21-point three-quarter-time margin into a 68-point thrashing, 25.12 (162) to 14.10 (94).

Williamstown's four big forwards were a handful for Collingwood's defence at Burbank Oval, with Patrick Rose kicking five goals, Dean Galea four and three each to Wayde Skipper and Callum Urch.

Seagulls coach Bradley Gotch said Williamstown's forward line was the side's strength.

"We're going to be hard to match up on for most sides if we can keep rotating around and not be too predictable," Gotch said. "I think that's our strength at the minute."

Seagull coach Gotch gets inside running on rival

From The Age
Reported by Carley Jellett

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WILLIAMSTOWN coach Bradley Gotch has admitted to "mixed feelings" leading into his side's round-two match against Collingwood.

Williamstown was aligned with Collingwood's AFL side for six years before the club decided to create a stand-alone VFL team.

Gotch, who coached the Seagulls and had a role at the Magpies during that time, said it felt odd looking at his former players as the opposition.

"After being there for eight years," Gotch said, "and I coached Williamstown and Collingwood for six, it was sort of a funny feeling having a look at the opposition, which is the team you've had a big involvement with."

Gotch said he has used his inside knowledge of the club's players to give his team an edge.

Williams leaves Seagulls to flock with Eagles

From the Hoppers Crossing Star
Reported by Mark Murray

WILLIAMSTOWN Football Club veteran Andrew Williams has departed Burbank Oval to join Mornington Peninsula Nepean Football League Casey-Cardinia league club Beaconsfield.

Williams, who played his first game for the Seagulls in their 2003 grand final win, lives locally in Beaconsfield and has decided to step away from Victorian Football League (VFL) competition.

The former Collingwood forward was named vice-captain of Williamstown in 2007 and enjoyed another consistent season as a goal-kicking half forward/midfielder.

Williams went on to notch up 70 games for the Seagulls, booting 99 goals.

Cloke home at kennel

From the Herald-Sun

Reported by
Mark Stevens
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JASON Cloke has found his way into the Bulldogs' back yard, signing a two-year deal with Williamstown.

Cloke, hoping to revive his AFL career via the national or pre-season draft, will play for the Dogs' new VFL affiliate if he doesn't get picked up.

Seagulls coach and Bulldogs development coach Brad Gotch was keen to lure Cloke from the Bendigo Bombers.

Gotch has no doubt the former Magpie could still have something to offer at the higher level.

"I have mentioned to the recruiting guys here (Bulldogs) that he would be a ready-made, solid backman," Gotch said. "It is up to them if they want to have a look at him."

Cloke, 25, was runner-up in Bendigo's best-and-fairest this season.

Dogs ink new link with Williamstown

From the Sunday Herald-Sun

Reported by Gareth Trickey
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THE assurance of a full-time coach has proved the deciding factor in the Western Bulldogs' new partnership with VFL club Williamstown.

Bulldogs president David Smorgon and coach Rodney Eade yesterday announced the new three-year deal.

The agreement comes after the Bulldogs split from former affiliate Werribee.

Collingwood's departure from Williamstown opened the door for the Bulldogs to re-align with the Seagulls after a seven-year hiatus.

Brad Gotch will continue as full-time coach of the Seagulls in conjunction with his new role as development coach of the Bulldogs.

Eade said a strong alignment with a VFL club was second only to the expensive single-club model.