Collins departs Williamstown

Andy Collins. Picture Shawn Smits

Tara Murray

Williamstown is on the hunt for a new coach after Andy Collins decided to call time on his time at the club.

Collins, who has coached the club since 2014, has decided to accept a full time teaching role, which meant he couldn’t commit to coaching the Seagulls Victorian Football League side.

Collins was contracted full time to coach the side in 2021.

Collins, who coached the Seagulls to the premiership in 2015, said he had loved his time at the club.

“I’m proud of the culture we were able to develop at the football Club that enabled us to achieve a number of highs over the journey,” he said.

“I have lots of love for all the players and staff for their amazing contribution and wish them all the best for the future.

“I wish to pay special mention to Terry Wheeler for his mentoring role over that period.”

Collins’ footy resume is only one that most people can dream of having.

He played 212 for Hawthorn which included three AFL/VFL premierships and a club best and fairest.

He has coached Sandringham, Coburg and Williamstown in the VFL and been an assistant coach at both St Kilda and Hawthorn and spent time with West Adelaide in the SANFL.

Seagulls chief executive Jason Reddick acknowledged the contribution that Collins had made to the club.

He said Collins leaves with the club’s full blessing.

“The enthusiasm and professionalism that he brought to the role each day helped develop the careers of so many individual coaches, football staff and players, many of whom have progressed on to the elite level including nine players drafted to the AFL,” Reddick said.

“Collo also maintained a consistently high level of team performance, leading our stand alone team to six successive preliminary finals, culminating in grand finals in 2015 – when we tasted the ultimate premiership success – and 2019 – where we fell agonisingly short by three points. The club won the last ever national state league team competition, the 2014 Foxtel Cup, in his first season at the helm.

“Not only was Collo a terrific coach for Williamstown but he has been a great advocate and ambassador for the VFL state league competition, becoming a VFL Life Member in 2017. ”

Seagulls captain Adam Marcon said in a statement, that the players were shocked by Collins’ departure.

There had been some talk about players being unhappy with how the situation had played out.

“Understandably, the initial reaction from some players was ‘how can we keep the coach that we know’,” Marcon said.

“A letter of support from the players was proposed but, despite yesterday’s media report, was never delivered to the coard.

“Now that we have subsequently discussed the matter in more depth with the club’s decision makers, the entire player leadership group is fully supportive of the club’s handling of this situation and approach to appointing a replacement full time coach.

“There is obvious excitement about who the new coach will be and what they will bring to our club, and we look forward to that announcement in due course.”