Williamstown played Sandringham at Trevor Barker Oval in hot and blustery conditions on Saturday. With the start of the AFL season only one week away the Western Bulldogs and St Kilda both received permission to play 12 of their players with their aligned VFL partner.
There was keen interest in key St Kilda trio including Matt Maguire, Adam Schneider and Raphael Clarke whilst the Bulldogs key defender Tom Williams played for the Seagulls.
Williamstown Captain Brett Johnson playing in his first game of the season lost the toss and Sandringham had first use of a strong breeze.
Willi received great supply from Wayde Skipper who dominated in the ruck and around the ground against young St Kilda Rookie ruckman Blake McGrath. Chris Egan in his first game was extremely efficient in the back half and his use of the ball in the windy conditions was terrific.
Full back Jarrad Boumann had a great battle with Frosty Miller Medallist Nick Sautner who kicked 3 of Sandyâ€™s 7 goals for the day. Boumann should gain enormous self belief and confidence from his game and he looks set for an exciting season.
Guy Oâ€™Keefe, Sam Reid and Malcolm Lynch were all solid contributors on ball and young forwards Ayce Cordy, Liam Jones and ruck pair Jordan Roughead and John Shaw were constantly presenting.
Dean Galea and Matthew Little both started up back before both had stints up forward and this versatility will certainly be an added bonus for Seagulls Selectors.
Up back Cameron Lockwood had an outstanding game whilst Mitchell Keddell, Mark Weekes and Matthew Miller all played serviceable games.
Young onballers Xavier Gotch, Dylan Joyce, Josh Young and Matthew Cravino all had impact off the bench when they joined the fray whilst Henry White confirmed his improvement with another impressive display.
Young Rookie Jamason Daniels continues to impress with his speed and endurance whilst Tom Williams was rock solid both back and forward.
Skipper Brett Johnson led from the front in an impressive display whilst young NSW recruit Dane Rampe showed enough to indicate he will be a handy late recruit for the Seagulls as he is expected to sign up this week.
2008 leading Goalkicker Patrick Rose had a quiet day and had to leave the ground in the third quarter with an upset stomach.
Overall Brad Gotch had his coaching staff would have impressed with the improved performance and with regular senior players Ben Jolley, Jason Cloke, Ben Davies, Scott Meyer and David Stretton rested yesterday with promising Luke Cartelli also looking on, there is no doubt that there is tremendous depth in the playing ranks at Williamstown in 2009.
Williamstown: 4.1.25 ~ 10.3.63 ~ 12.3.75 ~ 17.4.106
Sandringham: 1.6.12 ~ 2.6.18 ~ 7.12.54 ~ 7.14.56
Goalkickers: Little 3, Oâ€™Keefe 2, Young 1, Galea 1, Joyce 1, Skipper 1, Gotch 1, Jones 1, Roughead 1, Lynch 1, Daniels 1, Keddell 1, Cordy 1, Egan 1
Best Players : Skipper, Lockwood, Johnson, Boumann, Reid, Little