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​ OP GUINANE COMMENDS COTCHIN, CARACELLA

The Old Paradian ‘Paddy’ Guinane – a member of Richmond’s 1967 Premiership twenty and the club’s Reserve Grade Coach in the Tigers’ last Premiership season of 1980, has acknowledged the contributions of fellow OPs Blake Caracella and Trent Cotchin to their irresistible resurgence. 

Paddy, a final year student of Parade East Melbourne in 1954, is yet to meet either the Richmond captain Trent (2007) or assistant coach Blake (1994). But the 146-game former forward truly welcomed the prospect of Cotchin hoisting the Premiership Cup – the first Old Paradian to do so in 120 years of VFL competition.

“Wouldn’t that be fabulous,” said Paddy, pictured here in a lighter moment with fellow Old Paradian Daniel Harford (1994) at the Pride of Parade function back in 2011.

“I’ve never met Trent, but I have to say that while he’s already won a Brownlow Medal he hasn’t played as well as he’s played this year. He’s taken another step in his own personal career.

“Trent and the team have given us great hope as the year’s progressed . . . it wasn’t that long ago that it look like we’d lost it all. To be honest I didn’t think we could go all the way, but we’ve improved so much in the past half year.”

Similarly, Paddy was equally glowing of Blake. As he said: “The people I speak to who are still around Richmond have massive raps on him as did the people who were around him at Geelong.”

 

Reflecting on the ’67 Grand Final, where Richmond prevailed by nine points in a tight contest with Geelong, Paddy said that the victory completed a massive metamorphosis for a club which had languished for a quarter of a century.

“Having grown up in Richmond and lived most of my life there as a child and even coming through Parade, the Richmond team had no success at all. By ’67 it had been 24 years since the team had won one - that was a lifetime and we seemed destined never to win another.

“In my days as a kid there, everyone living around Richmond idolised the players, and we all went to Punt Road to watch, but the view was that we weren’t meant to win finals – that was for other sides.

“Of course the turning point came when Graeme Richmond was appointed secretary of the club.”

Sadly, Paddy won’t be amongst the MCG throng. He has already made alternative arrangements, and will be casting a judicious eye from elsewhere. Another Old Boy watching on is Brian LeBrocq (1949), Richmond’s team manager in that feted season of 1980.

But one Old Paradian who will get a birdseye view of happenings on the hallowed turf is Damien Cusack, a final year student of 2001 who will officiate as boundary umpire in his first AFL Grand Final.

As with Trent, the Old Paradians’ Association extends best wishes to Damien on that one day in September.