Coburg players celebrate after Tyler Curtis kicks a goal against Sandringham. Picture: David Crosling
COBURG finally earned its first win of the Victorian Football League season last weekend but the traditional singing of the team song provided somewhat of an unusual sight.
A dozen of the 23-strong team were playing in their first senior victory in the competition, meaning there were more players in the winning circle than outside it.
Coburg’s Ben Allan tries to evade a Sandringham opponent. Picture: David Crosling
One of those 12 was Blake Mullane, enjoying just his first win in his 32nd match.
“I was watching the clock when it was at 19 minutes and we were three goals up,” he said.
“I was thinking ‘surely they can’t come back from here’.
“We just kept the ball on the wing for 10 minutes and then the siren went.
“It was a real weight off the shoulders.
“Then we sang the song and I didn’t know the words, but it was still good.”
Coburg held on to defeat a strong Sandringham side featuring 17 St Kilda-listed players 13.10 (88) to 8.15 (63), led by Liam Hunt (29 possessions), defender Sean Gregory and Ryan Exon, while Nick Dodge kicked three goals.
Mullane crossed to the Lions after two years on the Frankston Dolphins list before the club’s licence was revoked for this year.
Curtis tries to juggle a mark against Darrah Joyce. Picture: David Crosling
The Cranbourne South resident was determined to not let the intimidating commute to another stand-alone club deter him from chasing his dream of playing at the highest level he can, choosing Coburg despite spending about 80 minutes each-way on the road to training and home games.
The 22-year-old said he loved being part of such a young group which had “bonded really well” after 37 new players came to the club this year.
“We are pretty tight-knit. Hopefully we can stick around for the next couple of years,” Mullane said.
“Hopefully this (win) gives the boys a bit of confidence to move on to this week and for two in a row.”
Coburg general manager Sebastian Spagnuolo said there was an “electric” atmosphere in the rooms after the game.
“They have been training really hard since November, so the reward on the weekend was fantastic for all of them and I’m really proud of them.”
Coburg now looks forward to taking on Geelong away before hosting Werribee on July 8 for a special NAIDOC-themed game, where they will wear indigenous-designed guernseys.