Dominic Spillane, a final year Parade College student of the class of 1979, has been named on a wing in Herald Sun sports journalist Jon Anderson’s recently-named team of the greatest VAFA players of the past 50 years who did not further their careers at VFL/AFL level.
A member of the Old Paradians’ B-Section Premiership team of 1986 which accounted for Old Xaverians in a nail-biter at Elsternwick Park (and who could forget Dom’s thumping handball into the path of the running Michael Skerrit to boot the sealer), Spillane, now living in Sydney, last year returned to Melbourne for the 30th anniversary celebration of that meritorious victory.
Anderson conceded that the selection process was not without its difficulties.
“Put together after hours of debate with a wide number of well-credentialed VAFA heads, it (the team) does not claim to be definitive, although I’m comfortable with the names,” Anderson wrote at the time the team was recently published.
The Old Paradian Ross Duke also earned an honourable mention in Anderson’s article, by way of a quote attributed to the highly respected coach Laurie Aghan, who took Reservoir Old Boys, Old Scotch and Old Melburnians to VAFA Premierships.
Said Aghan: “The best players I saw in amateur football were Ross Duke (Old Paradians, Old Scotch) Danny McGaw (Reservoir) who was killed in an accident, Dominic Simmonetti (Marcellin) Terry Archer (Reservoir) and Mick Bates (Reservoir and Old Scotch) who was the best ruckman”.
Spillane, whom most player and supporters of his vintage would consider was the Old Paradians’ greatest clubman, is currently hunting spatchcock and pheasant in Lancashire and was unavailable for comment at the time of publication.
THE GREATEST VAFA TEAM OF THE PAST 50 YEARS (1967-2017)
B: Brian Bourke (De La Salle) Shane Maguire (North Old Boys) Richard Schober (Collegians)
HB: Simon Costello (Uni Blacks) Nick Wynne (Old Xaverians) Michael Deveson (De La Salle)
C: Dominic Spillane (Old Paradians) Bruce Bourne (Captain, Ormond) John Anderson (Old Scotch)
HF: Brendan Iezzi (Trinity) Ian Cordner (Blacks, Old Melburnians) Tim Ockleshaw (Old Xaverians)
F: Andrew Ramsden (Trinity) Nick Burne (Uni Blacks, Old Xaverians) Michael Ritterman (Ajax, MHSOB)
R: Michael Blood (Xaverians, St Kevin’s) Michael Yeo (Uni Blues) Norm Beattie (Coburg)
I: Phil Mehrten (Ormond) Greg Wade (St Bernard’s) James Hope (Old Ivanhoe)
Simon Wood (Old Xaverians)
Coach: Mike McArthur-Allen Assistant Coach: Bernie Sheehy