The Games of Old Xaverians Football Club

The Games of Old Xaverians Football Club

Over the past few years, different Premier clubs has successfully produced premiership dynasty. Perhaps the most prominent one would be the premiership dynasties that have been recorded by the Old Xaverians Football Club during the year 1995-2000. This amazing feat by the sports club has been magnified since it was achieved during the time that the competitiveness in this sports event is too stiff. The team was able to win their every game with conclusiveness and full assurance. During the grand finals on the 1996-1997 football events, they showed everyone that they have the resiliency of a Champion.

The Games of Old Xaverians Football Club

The Highlight of the Career of Old Xaverians Football Club

This level of prominence and authority in the sports was not achieved in an instant. If you look at the early games of the club, you will realise that their performance is a complete contrast of their phenomenal achievement during the past years. Most of the team members of Old Xaverians Football Club were the former students of the university. This tradition started during the initial inception of the football club.

The Debut Season

At the end of the debut season of the Old Xaverians Football Club, there are some creditable games results that they managed to achieve. Unfortunately, those achievements are insufficient to prevent them from being relegated to the section B. Nonetheless; this did not stop the team from being optimistic. Around 1926 when an anonymous sports writer reported that the team is not progressing the way the public expect them to be. They also lack the number of remarkable players and followings which is just unfortunate.

Improvement on Their Game Performance

The performance of the Old Xaverians Football Club on their succeeding game has gradually improved. In the 1928 season, the team was able to achieve a major revolution when the members of the football club went into a rigorous training under the legendary Jock McHale. They managed to reach the finals of the B Section, but they lose in a game with State Savings Bank. McHale will then continue to guide the club until 1929. Unfortunately, the coaching session of McHale was not reinforced causing the team to plummet down to the bottom 2. The teams were then relegated to section C due to poor performance.

Escape from Section B

It will take at least a decade before the Old Xaverians Football Club will finally escape the B Section. On the 1948 season, the team emerged victoriously against Brunswick despite of the fact that they have been the underdog. This is an unexpected victory that defied all the common logic. Over the next decades, the team will then experience its first ever game in the section A. The 1980s has become a roller-coaster ride for the team.

In the early part of the 1990s, Old Xaverians Football Club was able to avoid relegation, which is all thanks to the strict coaching of Grant Thomas. In 1995, Barry Richardson took the coaching job were they managed to win the finals and became one of the best teams in the history of VAFA.

Major Old Xaverians Players

Major Old Xaverians Players

Players are the team, and the Old Xavs has had some fine players over the years, who have endeavoured for its glory and triumph. Those who have stood out have been recognised in different ways.

First, the club admits previous players, committee members, and employees to life membership each year. Life Members then award the Michael Rush Perpetual Trophy to an Old Xavs player who has exhibited the qualities of the late Michael Rush.

The player must exhibit unselfishness and courage. He or she must work through injury and disappointment to further the club’s interests.

Matthew Handley, a fierce warrior, clinched the trophy in 2017. He topped the VAFA scorings in 2015 (54 goals incl. finals), 2016 (57 goals incl. finals), and 2017 (44 goals incl. finals).

Lastly, the club awards the William Denton Sr. Perpetual Trophy (from 1989), for off-field contributions of its members.

Major Old Xaverians Players

Some Notable Major Players over the Years

Tony Capes

Tony Capes started out as a medical student at Newman College. He first played for the Uni Blacks, where he proved to be an outstanding centre-half-forward. He then represented the VAPA on several occasions and featured in the Olympic exhibition match of 1956. He came to the Old Xavs in 1960 and played for three years before retiring due to the rigours of family life, and his medical practise.

John Nankervis

John played for the Old Xavs in the 1970s to 80s. He played an astounding 132 games for the Old Xavs. John played in the 1981’s A-Section premiership team, the first ever Old Xavs team to win a seniors premiership. He also captained the club and took on off-field responsibilities as the club’s president, treasurer, and VAFA delegate.

Matthew Bourke

Matthew Bourke played for Hawthorn (1989) and Fitzroy (1991) in the AFL. At 6 ft. 2 in, he was a spectacular and skilled forward, recruited from Xavier College. Unfortunately, his short spells in the AFL would earn him only three goals.

Glory ensued when Matthew returned to the Old Xavs to earn his rightful place among other old boys. He would go on to appear for the Xavs in 121 games. He featured in 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, and 1999 all-star premiership seasons.

Damian Orlando

Old Xavs failed to win the premiership trophy in 2001, and 2002. In 2003, the Old Xavs were face to face with St Bernard’s at the Grand Final. In the first term, the Old Xavs had failed to take advantage of the strong breeze.

St Bernard’s snow dogs had an opportunity to advance in the second term, but their luck changed when Orlando snatched the ball from a wayward hand pass and took a shot for the goal. In all his 52 games for the Old Xavs, this was his most memorable moment. The Old Xavs won the flag in 2003 but failed to retain it in 2004.

David Landrigan, “Chachi”

Landrigan joined the Old Xavs straightaway from school in 1990. He played in six premierships. His great skills made him a Big V player, and he was a pleasure to watch.  When he retired on 29 may 2004, Chachi had played 255 games for the Xavs.

Chachi would return to the Old Xavs from the Crocs and became the first player to reach 300 club games in 2017.

Old Xaverians Football Club Distinguished Number 1s

Other Distinguished Number Ones

The Old Xavs red and black jumper has been worn by over 2,100 players. Some of the players had short stints, while other players and coaches delivered many years of service, on the field and sometimes off the field.

They have kept the spirit of the Old Xavs burning throughout the years. Of course, the club had a rocky start. But, in the last 30 decades, the Old Xavs have flourished immensely.

Here, you will learn about players, coaches, and officials who made noteworthy contributions to the Old Xavs. Some like the first captain-coach Alan Keane, have been made life members. You can learn more about the following Old Xavs on their THE LOCKER ROOM page;

Alan Keane

Alan Keane was a member of the first team that represented the Old Xavs in 1923. He had played in Xavier’s College XVIII team that clinched the 1917’s APS premiership. In 1924, he earned the maiden “best and fairest.”

The “best and fairest,” also called the “fairest and best” is a recognition afforded to a player with the best performance over a season or game. Sometimes the player should not have any suspension for misconduct during the entire season.

Michael Blood

Old Xaverians Football Club Distinguished Number 1s

At (6 ft. 4 in), Michael Blood traumatised opponents on the field with his aggression and became one of the most feared Old Xavs player to face.

During his many goals for the team, he would drag teammates along with him. His unconquerable will, helped the Old Xaverians to clinch A Section flags consecutively for six years. Some of his other achievements:

  • Premiership player (1995-2000)
  • Premiership Captain (1997, 98, 99, 2000)
  • The Clubs Four Best and Fairest winner
  • Won the Jock Nelson Medal Twice (1995, 97)
  • Clinched the Woodrow Medal in 1997
  • 212 Games for the Old Xavs
  • Old Xavs Life Member

Michael Blood also captained the Big V on five occasions. In 2014, he was made a Big V Club Champion. Anthony Fox took over the number one jumper from Blood. His first assignment was to shrink the Guernsey jumper Blood wore. However, most of his time was spend in injury.

Michael Rush

Michael Rush was a superb Old Xav. He came to the Old Xavs in 1975, before the club ever won any premiership flag. He played in the club’s Premier C section team who had last won a trophy in the section in 1938 –the club’s first win in the VAFA.

After 58 games, Michael suffered a knee injury that ended his career. Despite this change of fortunes, he assumed various roles off the field as a recruiter, advocate, and committee member.

He guided the senior team back to the premiership in the year 1990.  The Old Xavs second win after winning the 1981 premiership, would come five years later in 1995.

He is also remembered for being very vocal. Michael died in 2004 after a battle with brain cancer. Currently, outstanding life members have been awarded the Michael Rush Perpetual Trophy since the year 2006.

Other players to have won the number one red and black jumper include Cas Keogh (best and fairest 1955), Phil Callil (73 games), Nick Bye (72 games) and among others. Clay Johnston is the current number one.

About the History of the Club

About the History of the Club

The Old Xaverians Football Club (OXFC) was born in 1923. Gerald Honan, the club’s first secretary, expressed in writing that there was the need for occasional festive gatherings, which would ensure close association of the old boys from Xavier College, Melbourne. Four alumni, according to the club’s website, are responsible for the club’s formation: Dan Webb and Harry Considine, teammates in the APS premiership, Alan Keane, and Maurice Quin.

About the History of the Club

At the clubs genesis, there were many hurdles. Most alumni had since joined other clubs in the armature football leagues and faced restrictions that stopped them from joining the first team. Other Old Xaverians took the initiative but realised that their best days were long behind them.

Despite these setbacks, OXFC fielded their team in the Victorian Amateur Football Association then known as Metropolitan Amateur Football Association, founded in 1892 as the Metropolitan Junior Football Association (MJFA).

In 1899, almost 24 years before the birth of OXFC, the St Francis Xavier College (now Xavier College) had fielded a team to the MJFA. This was a doomed affair. The team was perpetually beaten. “The boys played against men,” says OXFC website. Endless defeats saw the boys losing heart, and the college had to withdraw its place in the MJFA. However, the matches served as a lesson to Xavier’s football team. Faults were identified and corrected.

The First Year 1923

Spirit and perseverance allowed the pioneering team to win several games including beating two competition leaders. However, they had fewer wins than the number required to evade relegation. The resolve for the next year was to recruit more members. Honan made an appeal to the Old Boys who had the ability to play football to enrol for the 1924 season.

Honan gave way to J Howard who wrote reports in the Xaverian. The major impediment to running a club was the costs. His plea to Old Boys was for them to rally together and raise the required money to “keep the wolf from the door” – Howard wrote.

Membership doubled in the second year. Members who never played had to contribute five shillings. Players had to fork out seven shillings and sixpence about $29.22, in 2016’s cash adjusted for inflation. That year 32 players represented Old Xaverians. But, they could not topple the 1924 champions, Old Trinity.

First Premiers Victory 1938

The first victory for the club came in the C Section when they defeated the University Blues. In 1940, the season started with uncertainty, only to end after the first round. Armature football would return in 1946. Old Xaverians players left to take part in the war, and unfortunately, not all returned.

Good News Again in 1948

OXFC won the 1948 premiership by beating Brunswick and returned to A Grade football.

Recent Victories in the VAFA

The Old Xavs have enjoyed numerous victories in recent years, including six consecutive premierships wins from 1995-2000. In 2017, the club introduced the women’s team, adding to its seven teams that compete in the VAFA.

What You Need to Know about the Old Xaverians Football Club

What You Need to Know about the Old Xaverians Football Club

When it comes to amateur football clubs in Australia, one of the most popular clubs is the Old Xaverians Football Club. Since its founding in 1923, the Old Xavshas become one of the top clubs in the Victorian Amateur Football Association.

Since its conception, the members of Old Xaverians Football Club are former students of the Xavier College in Melbourne, Australia. To date, it has won 14 Victorian Amateur Football Association Senior Premiership titles. The club also won three Premier B flags, two Premier C flags, and one Division 1 flag.

Establishing the Premier Dynasty

What You Need to Know about the Old Xaverians Football Club

A number of A Section clubs in the VAFA managed to establish premiership dynasties. Some of the clubs include the Old Scotch Collegians during the early 1930s, University Blacks before and after World War II, Old Paradians during the 1960s, and Ormond during the 1980s. However, the most noteworthy dynasty of them all is the Old Xaverians from 1995 to 2000.

While it was not the first time that a club managed to win six titles in a row, what made the 1995-2000 titles special is because the level of competition in VAFA during that era was at an all-time high. The Old Xavs won over high-calibre teams with conclusiveness and conviction.

Early Old Xavs History

When the group of alumni from the Xavier College formed the Old Xaverians Football Club in 1923, it didn’t achieve success right away. On the contrary, the club experienced frustrations and defeats during its early years. The club debuted in A Section but was relegated to B Section at the end of the season.

The Old Xavs can’t seem to come up with a winning formula until 1928 when the team reached the finals of the B Grade. However, the success was short-lived because the club dropped to C Section the following year after their worst season to date.

The Old Xaverians Football Club Dynasty

It will take the Old Xaverians Football Club a couple of decades to enjoy success in the A Grade. After their first A Grade flag in 1981, the Old Xavs had to wait for almost 15 years to win an A Grade flag again. In 1995, they won the title, and it was the start of their six-year winning streak.

What You Need to Know about the Old Xaverians Football Club

Their winning ways didn’t end there. They managed to win seven more titles, the last one being in 2016. At the start of the 1995 season, the club only had one Premier title to show. However, they managed to become the top team in the Victorian Amateur Football Association in just two decades. There’s no denying that there’s no stopping the black and red anytime soon.

At present, the Old Xaverians Football Club has eight teams competing in the Victorian Amateur Football Association. It plays its Senior Premiership games at the Toorak Park, while the other teams are based in Stradbroke Park. Its women’s team plays its home games at the Xavier College in Kew.