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1898 Premiership

Alex Sloan was the new Fitzroy captain as the club adopted a more professional attitude, insisting that all players train twice a week and do exercise in the gym to earn selection.

Brothers Mick and Jim Grace were the stars as Fitzroy went 10-4 through the home-and-away season to finish third, a game behind top side Essendon.

In a complicated play-off format, Fitzroy beat fifth-placed South Melbourne, seventh-placed Carlton and then Essendon to win ‘section A’.

The team then accounted for ‘section B’ winners Collingwood to qualify for the grand final against Essendon.

There was a dispute over where the game would be played. Fitzroy refused a toss of the coin, and then the VFL intervened, ordering that the match be played at Junction Oval in StKilda.

Essendon threatened not to play, but eventually the match went ahead and 16,539 people paid 400 pounds in gate money.

Fitzroy, hot favorites, kicked with the wind in the first term and led all the way.

Mick Grace was named player of the season and best afield in the grand final.


FITZROY 2.5 4.5 5.6 5.8 (38)
ESSENDON 1.0 3.1 3.2 3.5 (23)

GOALS - J Grace 2, M Grace, McDougall, McSpeerin.
BEST - M Grace, Reid, Hickey, Drohan, Potter, Sloan, Descrimes, McSpeerin, J Grace.
CROWD - 16,538 at Junction Oval


B Stan Reid Johnny Power Gerry Nolan
HB Alex Sloan (c) Pat Hickey Jack Dalton
C Eddie Drohan Harry Clarke Kelly Robinson
HF Chris Kiernan Bert Sharpe Bill Dalton
F Fred Fontaine Jim Grace Alf McDougall
FOLL Mick Grace Billy McSpeerin Bill Porter
  Pat Descrimes Paddy Noonan