Stick around the place long enough and you will experience the bad times as well as the good. It is the way of things. It is life. It is the nature of all clubs. But, even in the toughest of times, one thing that cannot be taken away from the Williamstown CYMS Football Club is its history. Our club was established 131 years ago, in 1886. This was only 21 years after the end of the American Civil War. Closer to home, Ned Kelly had muttered the words “Such is life” only six years prior. The hell that was the Boer War was still thirteen years into the future. This country was still a collection of colonies. Ours is an old club in an even older town.


It would not be exaggerating things to say that the club has borne witness to many significant events across three different centuries. Premierships; relegations; marks; goals; acts of individual brilliance; tears; laughter. And, of course, milestones – which the game of Australian football seems to celebrate so well: 100’s, 150’s, 200’s, and 250’s. Huge achievements all. But remarkably, up to this point in our club’s long history, no player has ever played 300 games. Until now.


For, a few weeks ago, on a Saturday morning at Como Park when our thirds took to the field against Old Geelong, this most unique of milestones was reached. A legend of our club became the only person to have played a triple-century of games. It is an achievement that cannot and should not be underestimated. Consider this: he has been playing at our club for 20 seasons. In football, that is a couple of generations. (Note: my final season was his first season – and he has now played with two of my sons. Talk about cross generational!)


Ben Hynes has been a leader and an ornament to our club from the moment he first walked through the doorway of the CYs. He quickly made a name for himself as a tough defender, more often than not standing the opposition’s best forward – and beating him. Yes, those scraggly left-foot passes could be hit and miss. But what he lacked in polished skill he more than compensated for with an uncanny ability to read the ball and a hardness that no amount of coaching can instill.


He was a key component of the 2008 premiership against Eltham. In fact, playing at full-back he won the b-o-g medal! And who could not but help feel a tug on the heartstrings when he was cruelly denied a place in the back-to-back team in ’09 when he was stitched up at the tribunal. No prizes for guessing whom we were playing when he was placed on report (arrghh!). I still believe his spirit helped lift us across the line. Hopefully, last year’s 2nds flag went some way to easing that pain. There is no small irony in the fact that in the twilight of his career he has reinvented himself as a goal-kicking forward. Who in their right mind would have thought it possible? Of course, these achievements would not have been possible without the support of his wife Lisa and his young family. And the wider Hynes family is part of the fabric of our club.


His milestone games read like a potted history of the club writ large: 100 v Old Carey (2003), 150 v Werribee (2006), 200 v Old Paradians (2009), 250 v NOBs (2014).

And now 300 games v Old Geelong! Well played, Hynsey.


About Darren Dawson

Always North.


  1. 20 seasons!! Fitting tribute, Smokie.

  2. Luke Reynolds says

    Great tribute Smokie, and well played Hynsey. 300 games is a massive contribution to any club.
    What was your final games tally Smokie?

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