Miscellaneous VFL comments and articles


Ben Jolley is now the biggest Willy ever.

(sets the club record of 209 games this week)


Nice bloke Ben Jolley. He taught my son at Williamstown High, chatted to him a few times, a really positive good natured guy. Good on him.


Huntly kicked a goal and Ottavi was named in the bests for Country, so we’ll claim they jointly won the game given the score was 72-71…


It is a history book he already has pride of place, as a four-time best & fairest winner and captain for six seasons, but Jolley is set to break the all-time games record for Williamstown set by Troy West, playing his 209th game for the club against Collingwood.

Jolley had always played footy growing up, but for a kid from Strathmore to go on play over 260 VFL games and be the record games holder for a club that joined the VFA/VFL back in 1884 is a major achievement.

Last year Jolley became just the eighth person to play 250 games in the VFL.

He joined elite company with Bill Swan, Fred Cook, William Harris, John Benson, William Lang, Nick Sautner and Mick Martin the only others to achieve the same feat.

An aspect that has led to such longevity in the competition is that he loves training, loves getting up early to go for a run or to the gym and eats healthy.

That’s why after 260 games, Jolley is still one of the best players in the competition.

“I remember one of my first training sessions at the club; it was my first preseason there,” said Williamstown captain Adam Marcon.

“The thing that really set Ben apart from everyone was the preseason running session we did.

“I was running on the inside lane and doing okay but there was Ben Jolley about five lanes wider than everybody else and doing it at a faster pace.

“That’s something that stuck with me over the years that he was doing the extra bit and putting himself in the hardest position to really challenge himself.”

It’s that type of work ethic and dedication that allowed Jolley to have longevity as an elite player.

The same work ethic that earned him seven consecutive VFL Team of the Year selections, to go along with four Gerry Callahan medals given to the best and fairest for Williamstown and not to mention two state selections.

While putting in the hard yards all throughout his life to become the player he is today, he credits the coaches throughout his life – from Robert Hyde at the Calder Cannons, to Kevin Sheedy at Essendon, and a variety of coaches in the VFL when with Bendigo and Williamstown – for coming along at periods where he needed them to help him develop as a footballer.

“Each coach came at a time that was perfect for my development as a footballer,” said Jolley.

“Whether it was encouragement or support from someone like a Matthew Knights or Brad Gotch, or a more hard edged approach from someone like Peter German who saw something in me and made me realise I had to work blooody hard so I wouldn’t be a bit part player.

“Also through to what Collo’s (Andy Collins) been able to do with me which is teach me a bit of patience and that it takes time as a leader and as a team before you can taste ultimate success.

“I’ve literally just been the most fortunate person.”

Whilst he has already won a premiership with Williamstown, and achieved career milestones such as VFL life membership, Jolley finds his motivation from his love of the game and the thrill of competing.

“Thankfully I’ve inherited genetics that has enabled me to keep playing and not gain any injuries and also being brought up to enjoy keeping fit and the training side of things.

“Certainly the calibre of players that I’ve been fortunate enough to play with at Williamstown helps, as well as the club being committed to making sure everyone gets the best out of themselves, which is highly motivating in itself.

“So once you break through the barrier of knowing what it takes and how to prepare, it comes down to really enjoying the one on one contest that footy provides, and running out each week with your mates trying to achieve that common goal.”

While Jolley’s football feats speak for themselves, many that talk about the Williamstown great highlight his character off the field, and how you would be hardpressed finding a better bloke in footy.

He respects everyone and gives people the time of day, regardless if it is the coach, the captain or the water boy.

“He’s just very generous Ben, with his listening and his advice, he always has time for everyone,” said Marcon.

“He’s got relationships with everybody at the club and has time for everybody which is a sign of a great person and a great leader.”

His current coach Andy Collins echoes the same sentiments set by his captain.

“He’s a very popular and well respected leader here,” said Collins.

“He has a very wicked, very intelligent sense of humour. A very inspiring and courageous footballer and leader.

“He’ll work very subtly with individuals and he’s very generous with his own time and has a great empathy and awareness of individuals.”

When the time comes to look back on his unbelievable career, Jolley will have time to reflect on exactly what he’s achieved. This milestone in particular is one he will cherish.

“It’s a very old club, having been established in 1864 so at this point in time to have played the most games, it is relatively significant to claim a part of history of a proud club,” said Collins.

“It’s a moment you savour and realise that you’ve played some part in it (history). I reflect back on this week and the time I’ve spent at the club and all the players I’ve played with and it’s done nothing but bring a smile to my face.”

It’s natural for any athlete over the age of 30 to start to look ahead to the second stage of his life; Jolley however hasn’t given it much of a thought, remaining focused on this season.

“At the moment I’m just really enjoying playing, but footy has played such a big part in my life who knows.

“I might decide that once I hang up the boots, enough is enough I need a break from it (football), or because it’s occupied such a large portion of my life, it might be something I really struggle to do without, so a career in development or coaching might be something that appeals to me.”

Whatever the next stage in his life is, Jolley’s work ethic and commitment to his craft is something that will no doubt benefit him in all walks of life.

One of football’s good guys will leave a legacy at Williamstown that will be hard to beat.


Good golly!


They do things differently in the VFL…

Nicholas Meese – Williamstown

AFL Victoria’s Match Review Panel charged player Meese for using obscene language towards or in relation to an umpire during the first quarter of the VFL Round 13 match between Williamstown and Collingwood on Sunday 1st July at Williamstown Football Oval.

As a first low-level offence and based on the available evidence, the incident was classified as a $150 fine (VFL Listed) and a reprimand. An early guilty plea enables the player to accept a reprimand as a first low-level offence.


My mail from SANFL club land is that after this fiasco in WA the AFL are fast tracking a national Reserves comp and that it could be as early as next season


Awesome, always been a fan of the idea.


50 VFL games to HAMS.



Sorry I missed this. What happened in the WAFL?


East Perth voted to end their alignment with the West Coast Eagles so unless the clubs allow the Eagles to enter their own side next year they will be forced to play elsewhere. I believe they are exploring the option of playing in the SANFL or VFL


That’d be a logistical nightmare.


Don’t the WAFL effectively own the Weagles?

Proper wet weather footy, Casey v North Melbourne at wherever it is Casey play (seems the crowd weren’t informed either). 2.5 to 0.3, any kick to a teammate’s mark is vote-worthy stuff.
Been dry here (about 20km north) for an hour.


2.6 to 0.3 now. Gripping stuff.

Next goal wins I reckon. We’re almost at half time.


No-one would go to Casey Fields…even on a nice day.


The rain was almost so bad you couldn’t see the game at all. Unfortunately it’s cleared a little.


Heh, every step is a splash out at Casey.


Would be nice if North could fluke three goals and get over the line, though!


Watches five minutes: yeah, North have zero chance.


241 tackles at three-quarter time!

North yet to score a goal. Can they beat Port’s score of 9 a few weeks ago at Willy?


In the Storm NRL game the other night they were all raving that the total score “beat the clock” - 50-32 for 82 points in 80 minutes.
Of course that was for both teams.

Will Norf be able to do the same, by kicking 5 points in 4 quarters??