Ballarat on the big stage at MCG as St Pat’s vies for fifth-consecutive shield

THE MCG is a huge sporting stage at any time.

The “G” is the mecca of Australian sport.

Just walking on the hallowed turf is a special experience.

So for those privileged to play their chosen sport on the MCG, whether it be Aussie Rules. cricket, soccer or track and field at the Olympic or Commonwealth Games –  that is something else.

This will not be lost on the St Patrick’s College senior football team when it takes on Box Hill Secondary College in the Herald Sun Shield grand final at the MCG on Friday afternoon.

For 11 of the Ballarat students, this will not be a first as St Pat’s chases a special place in the statewide competition’s history, having played in last year’s grand final.

Skipper Liam Duggan, Kane White, Mitchell Walsh, Jacob O’Beirne, Brysen McDougall, Nicholas Weightman, Rylie Stuhldreier, Jesse Palmer, Brenton Payne, Eamon McCluskey and Daniel Butler were members of the 2013 premiership outfit.

Head coach Howard Clark said as an educator a role of the college was to provide memorable experiences. 

He said playing on the MCG was a life-enhancing experience.

Clark is attempting to lead the college to a record fifth-straight Herald Sun Shield title.

St Pat’s last year equalled the previous record of four in a row held by Kilmore’s Assumption College.

St Patrick’s College prides itself on its football history.

Clark emphasises this each Herald Sun Shield campaign and that has again not been lost in his preparation of another group of students wanting to fix their names to a special place in the college’s history.

The opportunity to leave a legacy has also been a focus right through the campaign under the one school, one goal, one chance ethos.

Box Hill is playing in its first Herald Sun Shield.

Clark said Box Hill was a specialist sport school which had restructured its program, moving from a basketball focus to football, but he believed St Pat’s greater depth would give it an edge.

david.brehaut@fairfaxmedia.com.au

• The Courier will provide live match updates online at www.thecourier.com.au and on twitter @sportcourier

Captain Liam Duggan and coach Howard Clark hope to secure a fifth-straight Herald Sun Shield grand final for St Patrick’s College. PICTURE: ADAM TRAFFORD

Captain Liam Duggan and coach Howard Clark hope to secure a fifth-straight Herald Sun Shield grand final for St Patrick’s College. PICTURE: ADAM TRAFFORD

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