PAST CHAMPS HONOURED

Old Xaverians honoured recently retired past premiership stars at a pre-game lunch at Toorak Park yesterday. 

The packed room, led by President Matt Cosgrave, past skipper Michael Darvell and emcee Chris Meehan, paid tribute to John Shaw, Nick Serafini, Matt Skidmore, Damien Ryan, Andy Barrett and Murphy Ambrose.

In short, their achievements were:

Murphy Ambrose

  • Jumper Nos. 30 and 52
  • 44 Games (2009-2017)
  • 14 Goals
  • Senior Premiership 2013
  • VAFA Representative 2013-14

Murph spent several seasons playing at VFL level before joining the Xavs. His career in Red 'n' Black was injury-plagued, but his skills and uncompromising attack on the ball made him and integral and flexible part of the Xavs premiership in 2013 under Nick Bourke and Dom Berry.

Andrew Barrett

  • Jumper No. 15
  • 225 Games (2002-2017)
  • 71 Goals
  • 6 Club XVIII (Crocs) Premierships 2006, 2007, 2010, 2012, 2013 & 2014
  • 4 Club XVIII (Crocs) Premiership Captain 2010, 2012, 2013 & 2014

Baz was a constant in the Crocs over many seasons, and this man in the leather headgear was feared around the Club XVIII competition. Fearless and skilful, his runs through the corridor created opportunities for Reptile teammates and havoc for opposing defenders.

Damien Ryan

  • Jumper No 10
  • 131 Games (2008-2018)
  • 10 Goals
  • Reserves Premiership 2013

Damo was a tough and skilful player who played mainly in defence. Played with plenty of heart and was capable of shutting down the best small forwards in the Premier competition.

Nicholas Serafini

  • Jumper Nos 7, 30, 32, 59 & 65
  • 104 Games (2003-2018)
  • 12 Goals
  • 3 Senior Premierships 2005, 2007 & 2009
  • 2 Reserves Premierships 2006 & 2015
  • Jock Nelson Medal 2007
  • Big V Rep 2008 – Voted Best on Ground
  • VAFA Team of the Year 2008
  • 5th in the VAFA Woodrow Medal 2008
  • 3rd in Club Senior Best & Fairest 2008

The Cadillac split his early years between Port Melbourne and Old Xavs, and when he joined the club full-time, he blew up his knee in a practise match at Old Trinity. He recovered and proved himself a wizard/a true star, gliding across the field like a hovercraft and employing excellent judgment. His career was further interrupted by injury and four years living la dolce vita in Europe. He returned to play in the Reserves premiership in 2015 and was set to play finals in the seniors in 2016 before his body let him down again.

John Shaw

  • Jumper No 18
  • 120 Games (2010-2017)
  • 16 Goals
  • Senior Captain 2016
  • 1 Senior Premiership Captain 2016
  • 3 Senior Premierships 2010, 2013 & 2016
  • VAFA Representative 2012, 2013, 2014 & 2015
  • OXFC Senior Best & Fairest 2015

Horse returned to Xavs after being drafted by the Western Bulldogs from XC and starred in the ruck for 8 seasons. Tough and skilled, his form rarely varied and he presented his midfielders with plenty of opportunities. On the rare occasions he rested, he could go forward and present a threat around the goals.

Matthew Skidmore

  • Jumper Nos. 15 & 57 (2008-2018)
  • 141 Games
  • 64 Goals
  • Reserves Captain 2015
  • Reserves Premiership 2015

Thin-ness came from solid football stock, being a cousin of 5 time premiership player Ryan Colbert. He was versatile, strong overhead and divided his time between the Ressies and the Seniors. Committed and much loved by teammates, Skidmore was a fine leader who always gave his best for his team.

Thanks for the memories, men.