Revealed: Parade’s Best League Team Since ’71

Melbourne daily newspaper the Herald Sun recently identified five premiership players, a Brownlow Medal winner, Fitzroy’s last captain (Brad Boyd, pictured) and a Collingwood best and fairest amongst its star-studded lineup of Parade College graduates who have achieved big things at the top level of Australian Rules.

Parade has churned out no shortage of football heroes over the decades, with its Best VFL/AFL Team of the Past 50 years making for impressive reading.

The Herald Sun team is headlined by three-time Richmond premiership captain Trent Cotchin, who was also a joint winner of the 2012 Brownlow Medal alongside Hawthorn’s Sam Mitchell. Cotchin spent his first four years of high school at Parade College, before completing his last two years of schooling at Penleigh and Essendon Grammar School.

Cotchin’s football resume also includes three best-andfairest wins at Richmond, All-Australian honours in 2012 and being named the AFL Coaches’ Association Champion Player of the Year in 2012.

Former Essendon champion Blake Caracella is another premiership player to come from Parade College. The midfielder-forward played in Essendon’s 2000 premiership before going on to win a second premiership with Brisbane in 2003 after being squeezed out of the Bombers due to salary cap pressure.

Former Collingwood midfielder Ben Johnson won a premiership in 2010 with the Magpies, during a career that spanned 235 games for the club. Two-time Adelaide premiership player Peter Caven and 1998 Crows premiership player Andrew Eccles also hail from Parade.

The school produced Collingwood 1976 best and fairest Robert Hyde, who played in the 1977 drawn Grand Final and the Grand Final replay the following week.

Fitzroy’s last captain, Brad Boyd, has been named at halfforward in the side. Former Hawthorn and Carlton on-baller Daniel Harford (also pictured) was Parade College Captain in 1994. That year, Harford, as captain, led the 1st XVIII onto the MCG for the Herald Sun Shield Grand Final with Essendon Grammar, as a curtain-raiser to the CollingwoodEssendon match - and Parade secured the Shield for the second year in succession, with a 102-point hammering of the Grammarians.

“This side would go down as one of the greatest teams in the College’s history,” Daniel noted in his Captain’s report for the 1994 edition of the College annual, Paradian.

A 162-game player for Hawthorn and Carlton, Harford is also in the best team of the past 50 years along with teammates from that 1994 side Caracella, Daniel Lowther and Jarrod Molloy.

Article by Mr Tony De Bolfo

Old Paradians’ Association CEO