The Final Team

The elite 18-man Team (plus four interchange) was selected from a squad of 50 players, which was in turn cherry-picked from a list of 148 known footballers of Italian origin - each of whom has made a unique contribution to the game at various stages over 110 years of League competition.


The VFL/AFL Italian Team Of The Century is as follows:

Backs:
Frank Curcio, Stephen Silvagni, Len Incigneri
Half-backs:
Alec Epis, Anthony Koutoufides, John Kennedy jun.
Centres:
Robert DiPierdomenico, Ian Stewart (Cervi), Peter Matera
Half-forwards:
Peter Riccardi, Alan Martello, Mark Mercuri
Forwards:
Phillip Matera, Saverio Rocca, Brendan Fevola
Followers:
Steve Alessio, Mark Ricciuto
Rover:
Peter Pianto
Interchange:
Sergio Silvagni, Tony Liberatore, Scott Camporeale, Joe Misiti
Captain:
Mark Ricciuto
Coach:
Ron Barassi
President:
Frank Costa

The Team includes two members of the AFL’s Team Of The Century – full-back Stephen Silvagni and centreman Ian Stewart – who have been named in those same positions for the Italian Team.

Anthony Koutoufides, named in the Greek Team Of The Century on account of his late father’s heritage, was also eligible for inclusion in the Italian Team given that his mother is Italian-born.

Similarly Peter Matera, named in the Indigenous Team Of The Century by virtue of his mother’s heritage, was eligible for selection for the Italian Team as his father is Italian-born.

John Kennedy junior qualifies as his maternal grandparents were Italian-born.

The Italian Team Of The Century also comprises:

  • The first footballer of Italian origin to captain and coach a senior League team and the only footballer to complete his career before World War II - Len Incigneri;
  • An Australian Football Hall Of Fame Legend - Ian Stewart - and Hall Of Fame inductee - Stephen Silvagni;
  • Four Brownlow Medallists - Ian Stewart (1965-’66 & ’71), Robert DiPierdomenico (1986), Tony Liberatore (1990) and Mark Ricciuto (2003);
  • A Norm Smith Medallist - Peter Matera (1992);
  • Aa reigning Coleman Medallist who, since 1897, is the only footballer of Italian origin to emerge the League’s leading goal kicker in a season - Brendan Fevola (2006);
  • A father/son combination - Sergio and Stephen Silvagni (Carlton);
  • A set of brothers - Peter and Phillip Matera (West Coast);
  • 16 premiership players including five-time Hawthorn premiership footballer Robert DiPierdomenico;
  • 11 club best and fairest players, including three-time winners Ian Stewart and Mark Ricciuto;
  • Two 300-game players - Stephen Silvagni (312, Carlton) and Mark Ricciuto (303, Adelaide);
  • Fourteen 200-game players and five 100-game players, with only Len Incigneri (97 games) failing to break the ton;
  • Seven club Team Of The Century players – Sergio and Stephen Silvagni (Carlton); Frank Curcio (Fitzroy); Tony Liberatore (Footscray/Western Bulldogs); Peter Pianto (Geelong); Robert DiPierdomenico (Hawthorn); and Ian Stewart (St Kilda and Richmond);
  • 12 All-Australian Representatives;
  • An AFLPA Most Valuable Player - Anthony Koutoufides (2000); and
  • Four current players – Scott Camporeale, Brendan Fevola, Anthony Koutoufides and the Italian Team Of The Century Captain, Mark Ricciuto.
The Italian Team Of The Century was recently finalised after a marathon meeting of the eight-man selection panel comprising President Frank Costa, Coach and Chairman Ron Barassi, together with Kevin Bartlett, Brendon Gale, John Russo, Kevin Sheedy, Bob Skilton and Bill Stephen. Each of the 148 footballers eligible for selection met the following criteria, in that:
  • he has played senior VFL/AFL football at some point between the years 1897 and 2006 inclusive; and
  • he is either Italian-born or a first or second-generation Australian of Italian origin (ie. at least one of his parents and/or grandparents, paternal or maternal, is Italian-born).

Of the 22 players named in the Italian Team Of The Century, Carlton and Essendon boast the greatest club representations with five players each – Scott Camporeale, Brendan Fevola, Anthony Koutoufides, Sergio Silvagni and Stephen Silvagni for Carlton; and Steve Alessio, Camporeale, Alec Epis, Mark Mercuri and Joe Misiti for Essendon.

Of the 148 VFL/AFL footballers to have met the aforementioned selection criteria, only one – Carlton’s one-gamer Peter Bevilacqua – is Italian-born.

All surviving members of the coveted VFL/AFL Italian Team Of The Century were present for tonight’s naming of the Team and presentation of commemorative guernsey's, with the exception of Saverio Rocca, who is currently pursuing an NFL punting career in the United States. Len Incigneri and Frank Curcio, who died in 1964 and 1988 respectively, were represented at the event by their sons Len Clark (Incigneri) junior and Michael Curcio.

The Toccolan Club (it’s Committees and members), would like to thank our supporters of The Event which include Sir James Gobbo (Patron), Puma, Channel 7, DiDonato Design, Yerring Station, The Royal Children’s Hospital, Southern Cross Broadcasting, Crema Constructions, DiMattina’s Restaurant Group, DiMattina Coffee, Costa Group, Alliance Insurance Broking Services, Australian Multicultural Foundation, Box Seat Productions, Tony De Bolfo, all other corporate sponsors, the players, selectors, their families, the Italian Community and general public for their patronage and support in making this Event the success it was.

Back to top