FIDA Seagulls win for Daniel

FIDA Seagulls win for Daniel

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A 40 metre torpedo with 40 seconds left gave ladder-leader Williamstown victory over North Ballarat in the first of the Daniel Oakley Memorial Games on Sunday 13 July.

The FIDA Round 8 at Williamstown games were played in honour of 24 year old reserves ruckman Daniel Oakley, who died unexpectedly on Sunday 6 July. Only a week earlier he had been Williamstown’s best player in its game against Wyndham.

Players and supporters formed guards of honour before both games, with Williamstown coach Rob Klemm speaking of Daniel’s popularity, love of footy and dedication to the club’s values of loyalty, integrity and respect.

He also spoke of the need to “grab chances while you can, because you never know what may happen. That’s why we say, Go long with the wind.”

The senior game was a tight tussle all day. The home team was staring at its second loss to North Ballarat this season until it peppered the goals in the last few minutes. Then burly mid-fielder Michael Roach sent a torpedo straight through the goals from centre-half-forward with less than a minute to play.

“It was a fantastic game,” said North Ballarat coach Terry Firth, “and a fitting way to remember Daniel Oakley.”

Daniel’s parents tossed the coin for the reserves game, a scratch-match between Williamstown and Sandown, who were topped up with some North Ballarat players. The visitors proved too good but the home team never stopped trying and continues to improve with every game.

Williamstown reserves coach Rob Cannon said of Daniel: “He was a very kind, caring and gregarious young man who was enjoying his football at Williamstown as he helped the team and club improve. He welcomed me as a new coach, and his sunny demeanour made training and game days brighter. He had been showing that he could help his team tremendously by playing in the bruising position of ruck. Dan was shining in this new role. Against Wyndham he played a great game. He was showing rapid improvement and I was full of praise for his determination and desire against Wyndham to get in the play and win the ball.  He will be keenly missed.”

Williamstown 2.1   4.2 4.4 6.8 (38)
North Ballarat 2.0 3.2 4.3 5.4 (34)
Williamstown goals: Yaser Shubeilat 1, Ray “Burger” Warren 1, Josh Synot 1, Travis Barrett 1, Michael Roach 1.
Williamstown best: David Henderson , Luke Barker , Adrian Hays , Ibby Nasser , Kelvin O’Connor
North Ballarat best: Shaun Rogers, Michael Davies, Evan Reeves

Williamstown 0.0 1.2 1.2 2.2 (14)
Sandown     1.1 2.3 5.4 6.13 (49)
Williamstown goals: Andrew Villiers 1, Laurie Pollard 1.
Williamstown best: Team effort for Daniel.

In the other FIDA Division 1 game, second-placed Kananook were too strong, too big and too fast for Wyndham, winning both games easily.

With two rounds to go all four Division 1 teams will be looking to hit peak form for the finals.

FIDA is a league for footballers with intellectual disabilities.

About Vin Maskell

Founder and editor of Stereo Stories, a partner site of The Footy Almanac. Likes a gentle kick of the footy on a Sunday morning, when his back's not playing up. Been known to take a more than keen interest in scoreboards - the older the better.

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