SCOTT Williams knew his season was over the moment he heard his wrist bone crack.
The Old Collegians defender was less than 30 minutes into his first final since 2005 when an innocuous fall shattered any hope he had of winning a premiership.
The setback, in the first quarter of the Warrnambool and District league elimination final against Allansford on Sunday, was as cruel as it was untimely.
Williams had already returned after one major injury, a fractured fibula against Allansford in round three. He had regained full fitness and was slowly building form.
But the football gods didn’t care. Using his hands to brace himself after a hip-and-shoulder finished with his left radius broken in three places.
“That’s footy, I think,” Williams said yesterday, the reality he would not play again as the Warriors chased a drought-breaking flag having sunk in.
“I’m obviously a little disappointed. I played all last year and we didn’t win a game and then this year I’ve sat out most of the year.
“But that’s footy. We’re pretty sure we won’t lose anyone over the summer. We’ll give it a good crack this year and do the same next year.”
Williams, 33, said he never had a serious injury before this season. He was keen to return to the field in 2015, confident he could still play a role down back.
“If you asked me at the start of the year I would’ve said I’d go another six years. I’d like to think I’ve got a few years left in me,” he said.
He nominated key position players Vincent Fogarty or Jack Marney to fill the void in defence when the Warriors take on Dennington in the first semi-final on Sunday.
“Jack took my position when I was out during the year and did a really good job. He played against Dennington last time and did the job,” he said.
“Vinnie came across from Merrivale last year. He’s had a really good year too, I reckon.
“I reckon he was a little bit stiff with all our players coming back from injuries towards the end of the season. He was playing really good footy.”
Old Collegians are not the only side in finals battling injury concerns leading into week two of the WDFNL finals series.
Dennington defender Jono Nevill limped off with a hamstring complaint early in the qualifying final and is likely to miss at least this weekend.
Second semi-final combatants Panmure and Merrivale are largely injury-free, although Tiger Josh Guiney withdrew last weekend with a hamstring complaint.
n A story in The Standard on Tuesday had an incorrect schedule for week two of the WDFNL finals series.
The second semi-final is at Noorat Recreation Reserve on Saturday, while the first semi-final is at Merrivale Recreation Reserve on Sunday.