From the Coburg official website
Reprted by Adrian Dixon
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Paul Kennedy brings a huge wealth of experience to the Lions for 2016. PHOTO: Jenny Owens Photography.
With under a month to go until the beginning of preseason, we’re delighted to announce that 2005 Sandringham Premiership player and Frankston club stalwart Paul Kennedy will be a Senior Assistant coach of the club for 2017, and will also be our Head Development coach.
Known as ‘PK,’ he comes after stints on the coaching panel at Frankston and the Box Hill Hawks, but is perhaps best known for his time as a Dolphins player, and it was the similarities between Coburg of today and Frankston in the mid-late 2000's that drew Kennedy to Piranha Park.
"The way Coburg have gone about things the past three years, with really high expectations on themselves to improve and perform, reminds me of Frankston during the successful time we had under Brett Lovett," Kennedy said.
COBURG has described Frankston’s demise as a “wake-up call” but says it has a long-term vision, which will ensure it remains viable well into the future.
The debt-ridden Dolphins had their VFL licence for 2017 revoked late last month after the stand-alone club was forced into the hands of administrators.
Coburg general manager Craig Lees said the loss of Frankston was disappointing but the Lions were only getting stronger each year and were not going anywhere anytime soon.
“I guess it’s probably more a wake-up call for past players that love their footy club,” he said.
“If you don’t buy a membership or attend functions, you don’t know how long it’s going to be there for.
“You can only talk about how you govern your own footy club and we’ve got a really strong board and really strong sponsors so we’re really in a wonderful position.
“Our attendances have steadily climbed over the three years we’ve been stand-alone so as long as the team remains competitive and we keep producing draftees, we’ll be okay with the support of AFL Victoria.”
Lees said Coburg had established itself as a destination club since going stand-alone three years ago after Richmond broke away from the alignment to start its own VFL side.
“What we’ve done is just work within our means,” he said. “We haven’t been silly with player payments or any of that. We are here to provide that opportunity to TAC Cup players and we want to make sure we continue to build a really strong culture that develops young people.”
Coburg has had two major success stories since going alone, with Adam Saad drafted to Gold Coast Suns in 2014 and Michael Hartley finding his way to Essendon last year. There is interest in Lions Luke Ryan, Tom Goodwin and Robbie Fox heading into next month’s drafts.
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.