“We have felt for some time that something more than the occasional festive gatherings was necessary to keep the Old Xaverians of Melbourne particularly in close touch with one another, and this year definite action towards that end was taken in the formation of the OXFC.”
So wrote Gerald Honan, the first club secretary in the 1923 edition of the Xaverian.
It was in that year that the Old Xaverians Football Club fielded their first team in what was then known as the Metropolitan Amateur Football Association. The club’s formation came through the efforts of four alumni of Xavier College, Kew.
Allan Keane, Dan Webb and Harry Considine, who had played together in the APS premiership team of 1917, and Maurice Quin, who was their junior, showed the initiative, organisation and enthusiasm required to begin a club from scratch.
There was no shortage of problems in the lead up to the 1923 season. Many Old Xaverians had played with other clubs since leaving school and found it difficult to gain clearances. Older eligibles attempted comebacks until they realised their golden years might be behind them. Organised training also proved to be a major headache, with the consequence that success did not come early.
Despite these hurdles, the 1923 team achieved renown for its perseverance and spirit. Toward the season end, it defeated two of the competition leaders, and was unlucky not to topple eventual premier Old Scotch.
At season end, the club expressed thanks to the College for providing a fine oval and to Xavier’s groundsman Mr Rundle for preparing the boundary line and the centre circle.
Having won fewer games than required to avoid relegation, the club realised it would need to recruit.
“We appeal, finally to all Old Boys who can still play the game to enroll for 1924 with secretary at the College and to make Xavier amongst the Old Boys a name to be respected and feared, as she is amongst the present boys of the schools. There must be Glynns and Schneiders in the ranks of the Old Boys, let them come forward and put our football team in the position of Premiers-1924,” wrote Honan.