Richmond captain Trent Cotchin is now part of Parade College’s Australian Rules elite, as only the second Old Paradian in the 92-year history of the Brownlow Medal count (the other is South Melbourne’s Peter Bedford in 1970) to secure League football’s most sought-after individual award.
Cotchin and Hawthorn’s (now West Coast’s) Sam Mitchell, who originally tied for second behind Essendon captain and Old Xaverian Jobe Watson in the 2012 count, were this week declared joint winners by the AFL.
This followed Watson’s decision to hand back the Brownlow to erase any question of whether the medal was “tainted”, having received a doping ban for his role in the club’s 2012 injections regime.
Whilst conceding the circumstances of Cotchin’s and Mitchell’s victory hardly ideal, Bedford took the opportunity to welcome both fellow Brownlow Medallists to the coveted club.
“It’s an unfortunate set of circumstances but it would have been a shame for that year to have gone by without a winner,” Bedford said.
“It’s good fortune for the two boys Trent and Sam and good luck to them.”
Though he has not met Cotchin previously, Bedford look forward to the opportunity to cross paths with a fellow OP, invariably at next year’s Brownlow Medal night to which previous winners are invited.
“It will be great to catch up with Trent. It’s good to have another Old Paradian in the club.”
Cotchin was a member of Parade’s Year 10A Premiership team of 2005 under the watch of Coach Rob Peckham, which boasted a line-up which included the former Sydney and Western Bulldogs on-baller Patrick Veszpremi and ruckman Daniel Currie, who has since represented North Melbourne and now Gold Coast. Another member of that team, the Old Paradians footballer Chris Kandilakis, remembered that Cotchin was also a standout on-baller in Parade’s Year 8 and 9 Premiership teams.
“That Year 10 team would have been Trent’s last at Parade, and even then I remember him playing a lot of Northern Knights games and not being able to play for the school,” Kandilakis said.
“The side was pretty good through all those years. From Year 7 to 10 I reckon we only lost one game - the Year 7 Grand Final. We won Year 8, drew the Grand Final in Year 9 then won it for finishing minor Premiers and in Year 10 we knocked St Bede’s over fairly comfortably.
“The next year we ended up playing against him after he got the scholarship at PEGS and PEGS beat us in the Herald Sun Shield.”
Kandilakis said that he always believed Cotchin had the makings of a leading League footballer.
“To be honest, I always said ‘I reckon this bloke will win a Brownlow one day’. “It’s great, he’s a really top bloke and I’m stoked for him.”