VFL stand-alone clubs Coburg and Port Melbourne have proven they are finals' material after resolute victories on Saturday.
To the contrary of most football pundits who believed that AFL stand-alone clubs would dominate against teams made up of part-time footballers, the Lions and Borough knocked off Footscray and Essendon respectively – in another major step forward for the competition.
Coburg are in the mix to make their first finals series, since splitting with former AFL affiliate Richmond, while Port Melbourne are pushing for the top four. Of course, reigning premier Williamstown are in second position, again flexing their muscle under coach Andy Collins.
The Seagulls and Borough have both won VFL flags over the past six seasons as stand-alone VFL clubs. Coburg's rise – along with some competitive rigour and drive from Frankston and North Ballarat (albeit being on the bottom of the ladder) – has the competition in a healthy state.
Bulldogs VFL coach Ash Hansen believes playing against VFL stand-alone clubs assists with the development of their younger players.