Rob Klemm is the coach of the Seagulls….
Two of the toughest road trips in FIDA football are those to Ballarat to meet 2013 Premiers North Ballarat Roosters, and to Seaford to take on the powerful Kananook Bulls. After an outstanding win against the Roosters at home at The Fearon in Round 2, Williamstown Seagulls made the long journey down the Nepean Highway to face the club they have only beaten once previously – in the 2013 Semi-Finals.
Kananook at home is a tough ask at the best of times, but in cold and showery conditions, with numerous late withdrawals, both the Seniors and Reserves sides knew they were in for a big test.
The Bulls were down on numbers too, so both clubs started on equal footing.
The Seniors promoted Andrew Villiers and Theo Causon from the Twos to help provide some depth, and the faith was justified as both acquitted themselves admirably at the higher level, growing in confidence as the game progressed.
At the opening bounce, Ray Causon was able to exert his influence in the ruck, giving uncontested usage of the football to Kelvin O’Connor, who promptly goaled. This was the first of four majors for the quarter, and was made possible by the bustling body work of Ray “Burger” Warren and Josh Synot in the centre square.
Kicking to the scoring end in the second term, Kananook lifted their efforts and got themselves back into the game. The Seagulls were able to score a goal into the strong breeze to narrowly retain the lead at the half. The weather eased in the third term, and the four goal breeze dropped away to nothing, denying the Blue and Golds that advantage. Inaccuracy in front of the big sticks was costly, as the forwards and midfielders bombed away from too far out, squandering opportunities for an output of just 2 goals 6 points.
Kananook were never going to give up without a struggle, and kicked the first goal of the final term to keep their hopes alive. However, the Seagulls finished off the match with two goals to record an historic and potentially season-defining victory against the odds.
Kananook coach Paul Newman said that the Seagulls had been too fast over the ground, and that their persistence and discipline had been the big difference between the two sides.
Seagulls coach Rob Klemm acknowledged the mutual respect that the clubs had for each other, and looked forward to the Round 6 return match at The Fearon in mid-June.
Williamstown 4.4 5.4 7.10 9.11 (65)
Kananook 0.0 4.2 5.3 6.5 (41)
Williamstown goals: Kelvin O’Connor 4, Josh Knight 2, Corey Murphy 1, Josh Synot 1, Ray Causon 1.
Williamstown best players: Kelvin O’Connor, Sifa Kuila, Ray Causon, Adrian Hays, David Henderson.
The scoreboard once again was the mortal enemy of the development squad, but the enthusiasm and enjoyment of this great game, which was evident at the start of the match, was still present at the end.
Coach Rob Cannon only had a small squad to choose from, again from late withdrawals and call ups to the Senior side. Despite this, and the greater experience and physical development of the Bulls, the young Seagulls continue to emulate the attitudes, efforts and performances of the Senior side.
The future of the Williamstown Seagulls is in good hands
Kananook 5.6 7.10 10.13 14.16 (100)
Williamstown 0.0 0.1 0.1 0.1 (1)
Williamstown best players: Kaleb Halley, Sam Belden, Alex Wardell, Lyndal Van Es, Lewis Wardell.
FIDA is a league for players with an intellectual disability.