Seagulls sign two former AFL players


Tara Murray

Williamstown has started its list announcements for next season with a bang, adding two former AFL players to its squad.

Former Hawthorn player Teia Miles and Greater Western Sydney big man Tom Downie were announced as new signings last week ahead of the new-look VFL and East Coast second-tier competition.

Miles played 12 games for Hawthorn before being delisted at the end of 2019. He put in some strong performances at AFL and VFL level and is known for his elite work rate and ability to use the ball.

Seagulls general manager of football Stephen Soulsby said they were pleased to sign Mileswho who had signed with Geelong’s VFL side for 2020 before the season didn’t go ahead.

“To have someone of Teia’s calibre come on board for 2021 is a great outcome for us,” he said.

“He’s someone that can cover a number of positions for us, gives us plenty of versatility around the ground and will continue to set high standards around our club.”

Downie played nine matches for the Giants before retiring in 2016. He played with Victorian Amatuer Football Association club Old Scotch last year and led them to a Premier B grand final berth.

He kicked 37 goals and was named in the team of the year and won the GT Moore Medal as the competition’s best and fairest player.

Standing at 203cm, Downie is a major coup for the Seagulls as a big-bodied leading ruckman who can float forward and damage the scoreboard.

Soulsby said Downie’s character will have a profound impact for Williamstown both on and off the field in 2021.

“Having Tom come on board is really exciting for us heading into the 2021 season,” he said.

“His ability to play as a ruck/forward gives us a really dynamic look working alongside Joel Ottavi and will be a valuable asset to our midfield group with his experience at AFL level.”

The Seagulls on Thursday named Justin Plapp as their new men’s coach for next season.

In other news at the Seagulls, women’s coach Penny Cula-Reid has been reappointed for the 2021 season.

Cula-Reid was appointed for 2020 but didn’t get to coach a match with the season cancelled.