VAFA Premier C – Williamstown CYMS v Fitzroy: Guru 360 Second Semi-Final Preview

2nd Semi Final vs. Fitzroy, Sat 2 Sep @ Bill Lawry Oval, Northcote

Guru 360


Last time we met


Rd 17, 2018 @ Fearon Reserve: Williamstown CYMS 9.12.66 def. Fitzroy 6.6.42


Williamstown CYMS claimed a confidence-boosting 22-point victory over Fitzroy in a battle of the top two sides at Fearon Reserve. The CYs trailed by six points at the first break, but four unanswered goals to Rob Chan, Jack Noonan, Jack Gray and Finlay Adamson gave them a 19-point lead at the half. While the Roys came within eight points at the last break, it was a final two goals to Gray and Noonan that solidified the CYs 16th win of the year and top spot in Premier C. Yuma Hemphill was named BOG for the CYs, while Nathan Ligris starred for the Roys.


At selection


Four changes as the selectors welcomed back the big four in Jones, Wheelahan, Ebinger and Dawson. Omitted were Jack Johnson, Kennedy, Slee and Murphy, who all significantly bolster the twos, along with Knighta, who returns from injury via the early game.


Take 5


  1. The two best sides all year might well deserve to be in B Grade next year, but only one of us will earn that right come Saturday. Two district clubs with extensive links to the community and storied histories, Saturday’s match should sure draw a crowd. And what a storied ground to be playing on: the Bill Lawry Oval in Northcote, where we won ascension to C Grade over Therry Penola in 2014. And it’s close enough to Fitzroy to ensure a large contingent of the opposition. (The crochet knits is one way to tell us apart.)
  2. Earlier this year, former player Brett Lethborg was speaking to one of the Reserves coaches from Fitzroy when we played them in Brunswick. He previously coached at Therry in the year we won the D1 premiership. He said he still remembers that grand final day, and feeling intimidated by the large sway of CYs supporters coming to the ground pre-game in big groups being very vocal. It is indeed a real and powerful force, so let’s make sure we’re there and we’re loud this Saturday.
  3. Last week’s preview proved prophetic, with questions raised such as – “How do you get yourself up for this game? Can’t lose top spot. Are all efforts and decisions filtered by what’s on offer the week after? The need to preserve yourself. Don’t go too hard. Don’t retaliate. I’m a bit sore, I might come off and sit this one out. None of it healthy for the team or the individual, though it might seem so at the time. If I’ve learnt anything in my time in footy, it’s that the minute you play safe, second guess, hold back; you’re beaten.” – all too true. You couldn’t question the individual effort, but the team ethos just wasn’t there. (Read: 15 first quarter tackles, and at least 15 missed.) I’m confident it was only an aberration, one that has been erased from memory in the lead up to this game.
  4. Kal Dawson hasn’t had the most continuous of seasons, in a year interrupted by both injury and the occasional game for Williamstown VFL. In a strange twist, he is yet to play against Fitzroy, and may well prove to be a secret weapon against a forward half that would back themselves in against ours both in the air and on the run. Kal covers both of those areas easily and, just as importantly, creates plenty of offense from the back half. I hope his body allows him to show how good a player he is.
  5. I thought I was old enough (and rusted on enough) to no longer get nervous before games, but I must admit to anxiously looking forward to this one all week. I have a healthy respect for the club Fitzroy via John Harms, and also realise just how close we are to B Grade, a level we simply couldn’t foresee as we got by from year to year, and sometimes week to week. Win or lose, we are here and we have earned it. I hope you join us on Saturday and see what this club can produce.


The tip


Last week, Fitzroy capped off their regular season with a thrilling two-point victory over PEGS at Brunswick St Oval. The Roys trailed by nine points at three quarter time but kicked three goals to one in the final term. Max Ellis and Sam Baker each kicked three goals for Roys. And the less said about our effort last week the better, with the asterix being that it was a game of absolutely no consequence.


What I like about this week is that Bill Lawry Oval is identical in size to the Fearon, a ground on which our “bubble” made it feel just so much smaller again to Fitzroy. That match showed their Achilles Heel, and it is the area we need to capitalise on on Saturday. Because pressure around the footy equals high, slow balls into the Fitzroy forward line, and that negates their forward half pace and one on one ability. At the other end of the ground we have the ability to score aplenty, with both Grays, Ebinger, Wheelahan, Noonan and Ackerly all capable of kicking multiple goals. It promises to be a great clash, but one I believe we will win by 4 goals.


The other game


RESERVES vs. MARCELLIN, 11:40 AM @ Bill Lawry Oval: The Reserves side has been significantly strengthened by the return of Johnson, Slee, Murphy, Kennedy and Knight, as disappointing this was for those that were omitted. With this strong a line up, there are no excuses here and we should win our way into a prelim next week by 6 goals.


Bill Lawry Oval entry fees


Adult fee: $15

– 18 years of age and over

Concession fee: $10

– Pensioner Concession Card

– Commonwealth Seniors Health Card

– Full-time student with a current Student Card

Free entry:

Children UNDER the age of 12 years old

Ground parking (where available): $5

Amateur Footballer Record: $3

Please note pets are not permitted into finals venues.


Read Andy Fuller’s terrific story about the Bill Lawry Oval here


Do you love the Almanac concept?
And want to ensure it continues in its current form, and better? To help keep things ticking over please consider making your own contribution.

One off financial contribution – CLICK HERE
Regular financial contribution (monthly EFT) – CLICK HERE
Become an Almanac (annual) member – CLICK HERE



Leave a Comment