Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature

Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature
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Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature
Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature
Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature Home : VFL            Phil Cleary's view on Australian politics, people, vfl and afl football, music, history and literature

 

 

Williamstown

Team of the century

By Mick Gallus

Collingwood President and Channel Nine media personality Eddie McGuire hosted a gala evening, which saw nearly 1000 guests turn out at Melbourne's Crown Casino for the announcement of Williamstown's Team of the Century. The Premier Steve Bracks joined fellow dignitaries such as Dawn Fraser to watch as the Seagulls narrowed its list of nominees from one hundred to twenty five.

Non-voting chairman and Williamstown General Manager Brendan Curry who had the mammoth task of organising the event was especially pleased with the ability of the club to find nearly all of the nominees. "There were 100 players nominated and we were able to contact 98 of the living ones or their next of kin."

Whilst it was a great fund raising night for the club the ability to generate goodwill and spirit within was of far more importance. Brendan found this also to be his highlight of the evening, "A lot of former players gained a sense of belonging throughout the night. The club will get a lot of benefit out of that in re-igniting everyone's passion for the Williamstown Football Club.

Williamstown's Co-Captain and nominee for the Team of the Century Full back position Troy West agrees " The highlight for me was the big reunion with everyone, catching up with guys who I played with over my ten years at the club. It was a great night also in gaining a real sense of the tradition of the Williamstown Football Club. It was inspiring to hear about the "Invincibles" which was the Williamstown team which dominated in the 50s to the extent that they won five premierships in six years."

On his own nomination Troy commented how proud he was by being grouped amongst fellow nominees, which included Ron Todd, Barry Round, Mark Fotheringham and Max Papley. "I was overjoyed to be nominated not just as a full back but to join the 99 other names that were included on that list of the possible Williamstown Team of the Century, just to be included in that list was a real acknowledgement." Troy agreed that Max Munday was a worthy winner as the Full Back in the Williamstown Team of the Century. Even though he had never seen him play Troy had often heard Max been talked about around the club. "The Ex-head trainer of Williamstown Kelly Bradson, who was head trainer for forty three years always spoke highly of Max in regard to his toughness and tenacity."

The selection of the coveted full forward position was always going to be difficult and create controversy no matter who was selected. Mark Fotheringham who kicked three consecutive tons from 1983-1985 gained selection from a plethora of stars which included Ron Todd, Harry "Soapy" Vallence, Ian Rickman and Danny Del-Re. Non-Voting chairman Brendan Curry explains the committee's selection of Mark, "Once the selection committee decided that Ron Todd was going to be the centre half forward then the two main stand outs at Full Forward were Mark Fotheringham and Harry Vallence.

The nod was given to Fotheringham because he played a lot longer and his goals per game were of a higher average." Mark Fotheringham Kicked 571 goals for the club at an amazingly high average of 5.65 goals per game and was the club's most accurate kick for goal. Former Coburg legend and VFL commentator Phil Cleary who played against Mark commented, " He just never missed."

1989 J.J. Liston medallist Saade Ghazi was nominated in the forward pocket position alongside former Williamstown legends Lindsay Cahill, Mark Cross, Ron James and Alby Linton. The man who was as famous for his afro as he was for his cunning around goals was thrilled to be nominated . Saade remarked "I was rapt to be nominated due to the calibre of all the other players also named. I was hoping to be selected but you never think you will be picked in the twenty four. When the award was read out and Saade gained selection he found it hard to believe he was the winner. "I was flabbergasted, excited and extremely proud, as well as being relieved, as my fellow table guests in Del Re and Shanksy were putting a lot of pressure on me to win."

A fantastic evening has had by all and we look for to Springvale and Port Melbourne as they get ready also to name their teams of the centuries. The ability for all players and officials to gather and remise ensures that the legends of the game will stay alive long past their date of retirement and this is extremely important for the survival of our great game.

WILLI'S TEAM OF THE CENTURY

B: Eric Beitzel - Max Munday - John Ramsay*

HB: Brett McTaggert - Gerry Callahan - Colin Wilcox*

C: Jim Caldwell - Max Papley - John Martin

HF: Ray Smith - Ron Todd* - Ian Rickman

FF: Harry Simpson - Mark Fotheringham - Saade Ghazi

R: Barry Round - Eric Glass* - Alby Linton

Inter: Reg Harley, Bob Jones*, Len Kent, Kim Kershaw,
Tony Pastore, Tom Russell
Coach: Wally Carter*
(*Deceased)

 


 

 

 

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