Pictured here at the Bundoora Campus’ Peter Bedford Centre is the 2021 First XVIII Captain Joel Fitzgerald on the left with last year’s First XVIII team member Ben Major.

Joel is modelling the current 1st XVIII guernsey; Ben a replica of the famous guernsey worn with distinction some 111 years ago by Parade’s all-conquering First XVIII of 1910.

The historic top was replicated just in time for this Thursday’s equally significant contest to formally open the new Waterford Oval (formerly the Naughtin Oval to the rear of the Bundoora Campus).

Ben, who is currently officiating at the College as a trainee, will coach the 2020 team in this contest, with Parade’s Sports Academy Coordinator Ricky Dyson following suit as coach of this year’s outfit.

Ricky said it was important that this match was convened given the fact that the 2020 team never took to the field in ACC competition due to COVID-19 lockdowns.

“We wanted to give the members of last year’s team who missed out the opportunity to play together, and we saw this match as a great way to officially open on the new Waterford Oval,” Ricky said.

“We thought we needed a clash jumper, and through the Old Paradians’ Association, which alerted us to the 1910 guernsey, we found it.”

The dark navy blue guernsey with purple and green vee and purple and green horizontal bands at the waist, was worn with distinction by the 1910 1st XVIII captain (and future VFL footballer) Mick Maguire (middle row, fourth from the left) and “The Invincibles” of that season – all of whom are pictured here.

The 1910 team, coached by Mr. Doran, took on all comers – Haileybury, South Melbourne, Caulfield, Brighton and St Thomas’ – and knocked them over with ease.

To quote The Paradian correspondent of the day:

The Parade boys had figured very prominently in football up to 1909, but for 1910 all schools had to yield the palm of victory to us, for we went through the season without a single defeat, and secured the proud title of champions. We met each team of the secondary schools association in turn, and improved on our scores at each match.”

Ben Major, the historic guernsey’s wearer in this image, spoke in glowing terms of the retro garment and the impending match in which it will be worn.

“The guernsey design looks great,” Ben said. “The fact that this is the same guernsey worn by the boys of the 1st XVIII in 1910 will give today’s boys a special feeling when they walk out onto the ground together.

“The game itself means a lot to the boys. We have been a strong footy team and a pretty close group from Year 7 to Year 12 and were really looking forward to the season of 2020 (being our final year).

“Unfortunately that was taken away from us, but it will be great to get most of the boys and some of their family members back together for one last dance.”

The Waterford Oval contest between Parade College’s finest footballers of the past two years commences at 4.00pm this Thursday (April 1) to herald in the Easter weekend, as a forerunner to the opening round of the 2021 ACC season against St Bernard’s for the Madden/Bedford Shield.