This year Sam and I have been fortunate enough to work with the VAFA Division 1 team Williamstown CYMS in collaboration with their trainers, mostly Osteopathy students, to keep as many players on the park and performing at the highest level possible.
My involvement with the club extends back to 2006 as a player, captain and as of this year in a support role. Sam has spent many years as a trainer, and this year has helped out on match days intermittently.
The joy to see the evolution of a club, that has one of the longest histories of any sporting team in our country, is palpable within the local Williamstown community and reaffirms the development of the club, with a strong commitment to contributing to the local area in positive and meaningful ways. Obviously football is the key ingredient and with the increasing link of Football Williamstown (inclusive of the VFL, VAFA and Junior teams) the club has seen a steady improvement in the on field results. Narrowly missing out on a Grand Final appearance last year the CY’s were poised to go one step further this year and set their sights on a flag.
The CY’s finished the season in second place on the ladder behind Therry Penola. Therry has had a fantastic year, not being overcome throughout the entire home and away season to end at 18-0. The CY’s being the other standout team of the year with a record of 14-4, 2 games clear of 3rd place. While the CY’s had a few hiccups throughout the year the dominance of Therry may have been slightly overstated by some. In the two encounters between this weekend flag contenders there were vastly differing results. The first match highlighted the threat of Therry and established the hierarchy of the division. The score that afternoon out at John Pascoe Fawkner saw the CY’s go down 15.10.100 to 4.6.30, a defeat that would loom large amongst the entire division for the year. In the return leg at the Fearon Reserve, by the beach in Williamstown, the result revealed a different story, Therry managed to hold on for the win, the CY’s with their chances to win late in the game failed to overcome their opponents. The score was a subdued 6.13.49 to 7.12.54, both sides having equal scoring opportunities in a rather brutal affair. The result of the game, whilst disappointing, steeled the resolve of the men of the gold and the blue., the beast of Therry was vulnerable.
So came the first final, the unconquered Therry Penola against the primed Williamstown CYMS. At Bill Lawry oval in Northcote the ample crowd saw a double header with the Therry seconds getting a break on the Williamstown seconds that couldn’t be clawed back. Hopefully this wasn’t an omen for the senior team. The main event lived up to expectations. A bruising match, the brave CY’s came out of the blocks firing and opened up a small lead going into the quarter time break. The margin extended slowly throughout the game until early in the last quarter when Therry strung three goals together to bring the margin back to 10 points. The CY’s hadn’t been outplayed however, they had been wasteful, still providing forward entries but not converting those into meaningful scores. Some crucial one on one battles throughout the last quarter, especially by the likes of the Gray brothers, Matt Johns, Dan Calman-Oor and Ash Heaver were rewarded with steading goals that extinguished the Therry revival and saw the final margin at Williamstown CYMS 16.10.106 def Therry Penola 10.10.70. The result for the CY’s, a trip to the grand final and promotion for the first time ever into C Grade of the VAFA for the 2015 season.
The Grand Final this weekend promises to be hotly contested affair with both sides looking to cap off wonderful years with a premiership cup. The game will be played at VISY Park (Princes Park Drive, Carlton North) 2.30pm SUNDAY, for what should be an arm wrestle of a game. Therry travelling through the home and away season undefeated show consistency that should have them starting favourite for the game, but the CY’s will be looking to reproduce the type of football that saw them outplay Therry in the Semi Final. My heart lies with the Gold and Blue, with my prediction being a CY’s win by 21 points.