DAVID WILLIAMS - 2015
We are about to induct a man into the GVL Hall of Fame who has an incredible history as a coach in the League.
David Williams of Rochester has had an involvement in the GVL over a 35 year period and has coached two GVL clubs for a total of 23 seasons.
However he made a name for himself as a star player and graced the hallowed turf of the MCG on many occasions.
David grew up in Rochester as the son of a player who had been recruited to the town to play under the great Noel McMahon.
Naturally David followed in his father’s footsteps and “donned” the Rochy colours in the 3rds in 1978. His talent was such that the Tigers promoted him into their senior team in 1980 and he soon showed that he was a star in the making.
The Shepparton News reporters voted him as their best player in 1982.
At that time the GVL was zoned to the Melbourne Demons who soon came knocking on David’s door and enticed him onto a VFL career at the MCG along with a host of GV lads such as Adrian Battiston, Chris Connolly, Gary Lyon, Kelly O’Donnell, Stuart McKenzie, Trevor Castles, Russel Richards and Mick O’Sullivan.
David was delighted to be able to play in the big time and he threw everything he had into his efforts to do well under coaches Ron Barrassi and John Northey.
Luckily Melbourne had some success during David’s career and he played in an elimination final and 1st semi-final in 1987.
The next year 1988, David was in the Demons team for the Elimination final, the 1st semi, the Preliminary Final and the Grand Final, which the Demons lost to Hawthorn.
He was also lucky to take part in two international games with Melbourne, One in Toronto and the other in Vancouver.
It was during this time that he was dubbed “Dirty” by his team mates, a nick name that has stayed with him ever since.
After playing 67 games with the Demons, David eventually left Melbourne for Richmond but injury prevented him from playing a senior game and after half a season in 1991, he returned to his beloved Rochester.
In 1992 he was appointed as coach of the Tigers and there commenced a remarkable coaching and playing career.
He would play a total of 259 senior games with the Tigers and coach the team for 16 years. Success came immediately as Rochester won the flag in 1992.
The elation of the first year gave way to the frustrations of football when the next year Shepparton defeated Rochester in the grand final with a kick after the final siren.
David would coach the Tigers into a total of 7 grand finals winning in 1992 and 1999. The Rochester club bestowed “Life Membership on him in 1995.
The frustrations of losing grand finals only spurred the dogged coach on and he showed great persistence and resilience in continuing to lead the Tigers.
The GVL honoured him with his appointment as coach of the GVL inter-League team.
David retired as a player at the end of the 2001 season and continued on as non-playing coach.
He loved to see the development of junior players and for many of his coaching years at Rochester he received no payment or only a moderate fee.
He won the Rochester Best player award and player of the final series award.
He was also voted as “Coach of the decade” and won the GV Coaches’ association “Coach of the year” award.
He was also named as coach in the Shepparton News “All Stars” team in 2003. Even the Mooroopna Football Club named David as their “Football personality of the year” in 2003.
After 16 years at the helm it was time to leave the Tigers in 2006, and he was immediately appointed as coach of the Kyabram Football Club.
David coached the bombers for 7 seasons including three grand finals, culminating in winning the grand final, defeating Shepparton United in 2013.
That very pleasing premiership was enough for David to bow out of football on a high note and he retired gracefully after a wonderful football coaching and playing career to concentrate on his Tyre and Battery business.
David cites Robbie Miller as the best player he coached at Rochester and Paul Newman as the best he coached at Kyabram.
The Goulburn Valley salutes him for his wonderful contribution to Goulburn Valley football and it is with great pleasure that “Coach Extraordinaire” David Williams is inducted into the GVFL Hall of Fame.