Williamstown News

From Leader Newspapers
Reported by Paul Amy
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WILLIAMSTOWN believes in Liam Picken and is prepared to put up money that he will make it as an AFL player.

Liam Picken moves to break a tackle in Wiliamstown's Preliminary Final clash with Port Melbourne in 2008.  Photo: Jason Edwards

The Seagulls have confirmed they gave $20,000 to their VFL partner the Western Bulldogs to help pay for the cost of having him on their rookie list.

“We think it’s a very good investment in Liam and for our alignment with the Bulldogs,” Willy general manager Brendan Curry said.

“It will be money well spent. We’ve got enormous faith in him. He’s ready to step up.”

Liam is the son of former Collingwood champion Billy and shared Willy’s best and fairest last year. He was also selected in the VFL team of the year.

Williamstown conjures great escape

Photo: Getty Images

From The Sunday Age
Reported by Brent Diamond

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DESPITE producing its best performance of the season against a team rated one of the competitions best, Frankston was denied a preliminary final berth against Port Melbourne as ex-Kangaroo Callum Urch lifted Williamstown to a one-point victory 13.14 (92) to 12.19 (91). "That was definitely the great escape," Williamstown coach Brad Gotch said.

The match proved to be one of the hardest fought contests of the finals series so far, with Frankston making its intentions known early.

Making use of a strong breeze and running the ball beautifully from its back line through Toby Conroy and Luke Collins, Frankston looked certain to test the more favoured Williamstown side right to the wire.

Unable to find a tall marking target in the forward line, the Seagulls looked lethargic against Frankston's running back line.

Seagulls fired up for Frankston

From The Age
Reported by Michael Sharkie

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THREE weeks ago, Williamstown had the top spot on the VFL ladder seemingly sewn up with an impressive percentage after a consistent year of football. But now in the second week of the VFL finals series, Williamstown finds itself in a knockout semi-final against an ever-dangerous Frankston, a position that coach Brad Gotch never expected to find himself in.

"Last week's loss (to North Ballarat) was disappointing, but it was the loss to Werribee in round 20 that has really cost us," Gotch said.

In the final match of the regular season, the Seagulls played host to Werribee in a game they were expected to win. Despite their excellent record at home, they stumbled at the final hurdle and fell from top spot to third after an 11-point defeat. The loss forced Williamstown to head to North Ballarat for a qualifying final.

"At half-time I thought we were a big chance. We had a slender lead, but in the end we didn't quite make the most of our chances on the scoreboard," he said.

Battling Seagulls win earns breathing space

From The Age
Reported by Michael Sharkie

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WILLIAMSTOWN grabbed some much-needed breathing space at the top of the VFL ladder as it battled its way to a 16-point win over second-placed Casey Scorpions at Burbank Oval yesterday.

Having lost for only the second time this season against North Ballarat last weekend, Williamstown was out to make amends against the Scorpions, who would have taken top spot had they beaten the Seagulls, but instead slipped to fourth place. In blustery conditions, the match was a showdown between the Scorpions\' back line, which had conceded just 949 points, and the seemingly endless list of Seagull forward options.

With Peter Street returning from suspension, Seagulls midfielders David Stretton and Brett Johnson were well supplied early, with the home side dominating centre clearances. The Scorpions, however, used the ball with more purpose.

Hill on fire in Seagulls\' cakewalk

From the Sunday Herald-Sun
Reported by
Howard Leigh

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WILLIAMSTOWN midfielder Josh Hill staked his claim for a return to the Western Bulldogs with a 30-possession, best-on-ground game against the Northern Bullants at Princes Park yesterday.
The 19-year-old had 18 kicks and 12 handballs and took eight marks working from the half-back line and across the centre to be the catalyst in the Seagulls\' 45-point win.

Williamstown coach Brad Gotch said Hill had been unfortunate to miss selection for the Bulldogs side for today\'s game against St Kilda at the Telstra Dome.

"I thought he was really good. He provided lots of run," Gotch said.

Willy fires up after home truths from coach

From the Herald-Sun
Reported by
Chris Mitchell

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A POWERFUL three quarter-time spray from Williamstown coach Brad Gotch was enough to inspire the ladder-leaders to a gritty 14-point win against Frankston at Burbank Oval yesterday.

Gotch was disgusted at his troops inability to win the contested ball as Frankston took a 14-point lead into the final term and looked like inflicting Willy with just its second loss of the season.

But Gotch\'s words hit the right buttons as the Seagulls, aided by the work rate of David Stretton and Western Bulldogs utility Jarrod Harbrow, piled on five unanswered goals to win 18.13 (121) to 16.11 (107).

"I don\'t rev them up too often, but I was just disappointed with their attitude at three-quarter time," Gotch said.

"They were really down on themselves and we were only 14 points down so I just asked for a little bit more.

Game Dolphins test Seagulls

From The Age
Reported by Michael Sharkie

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WILLIAMSTOWN held top position on the VFL ladder with a hard-fought 14-point victory over a spirited Frankston at Burbank Oval yesterday.

The Seagulls looked sluggish early, with the Dolphins kicking seven goals to three in the first term through hard running and midfield pressure.

With Jason Cloke being well held by Dolphin captain Shaun Pollard, it was left to Dean Galea to provide a target for attacking backmen Malcolm Lynch and Jarrod Harbrow, who were instrumental in their side\'s eight-goals-to-three second quarter.