Coburg Lions news

Reported by Chris Cavanagh and Tim Michell for the Moreland Leader
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CALDER Cannons talent manager Ian Kyte would always toe the company line.

He would tell TAC Cup graduates who were not drafted by AFL clubs their best option was to head to VFL side Coburg, a traditional pathway club.

But deep down, he did not always believe what he was saying.

“Before I would be recommending that was a place that kids continue their career but I’m not sure I believed it myself,” Kyte said.

After splitting from its alignment with Richmond at the end of the 2012 season, some suggested Coburg would not survive a year as a stand-alone club.

How things have changed.

The Lions have thrived under the leadership of general manager Craig Lees and coach Peter German and building stronger bridges with the Cannons has been crucial to their success.

At least 22 of Coburg’s 60 listed players this year will be Calder graduates.

“If you look back to when Germo and I first got there at the start of 2014 there was maybe five Cannons on the list,” Lees said.

“No one wanted to go there. It wasn’t a pathway. So we’ve done really well.”

By the end of the 2014 season, Lees and German had a story to sell.

Pssst: The VFL team with Muslims and a Jew

From The Age
Reported by
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Have you heard the one about the Jew and the Muslim? At Coburg it's no joke. Already a club with a reputation for promoting multiculturalism, the Lions took things one step further last week when they signed forward Jake Lew from amateur club AJAX.

Lew is Jewish, and is set to line up next year in perhaps the most ethnically diverse forward line ever assembled. Lew's signature follows that of former St Kilda goalsneak Ahmed Saad, a Muslim, who returns to state ranks to play alongside mates Danny Younan and Ozgur Uysal. Younan was born in Australia to a Lebanese mother and Syrian father, while Uysal is a Turk. The Lions' forward line also includes Lech Featherstone, who as detailed last year in Pssst, was named after a Polish union leader of the 1980s.

From the Moreland Leader
Reported by Chris Cavanagh
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IT IS a sight that has not been seen for some time.

Coburg — a club that has struggled for success since its golden days in the late 1980s — currently sits in the top-five on the VFL ladder in a clear sign that significant improvement is being made.

The Lions took care of Frankston on Saturday to make for a 2-1 start to the season, their other win coming against Richmond in Round 1 and their only loss coming to 2014 runner-up Box Hill in Round 2.

This time last year, the story was much different.

“We’re certainly not getting ahead of ourselves, that’s for sure,” Coburg coach Peter German said.

From the Herald Sun
Reported by Paul Amy
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THE 2015 VFL season kicks off on Friday with Werribee hosting Geelong under lights. Leader sports editor Paul Amy rounds up each club’s ins and outs.


Coach: Marco Bello

Last year: runner-up to Footscray Bulldogs

In: Cadeyn Williams (Richmond), Jack Sandric (Hobart City), Lochie Adey, James Handley (Blackburn), Matthew Burt, Chris Jones, Liam Kidd, Matthew Traynor (Eastern Ranges), Billy Murphy, Sam Switkowski (Northern Knights), James Sullivan (Tatura), Patrick Dillon (Donvale), Xavier Dimasi (Assumption/Calder Cannons), Ben Fitzpatrick (Korumburra/Bena), Dalton Graham (Sandringham).

Out: Luke Andrews, Callan Burns, Corey Cassidy, Sam Cust, Jackson Eade, Tom Goodwin, Jake Kalanj, Tom Miles, Xavier Murphy, Matt Northe, Nick Papadopoulos, Kalem Post, Michael Thompson, Brandon Wood.

The verdict: the Hawks have lost top-line midfielders in Xavier Murphy and Luke Andrew as well as the emerging Brandon Wood. But they’ve picked up former Tiger Cadeyn Williams and have good young players coming through in support of senior men Sam Iles, David Mirra, Marc Lock and Liam Tobin. Premiers in 2013 and runners-up last year, there’s no reason to think there will be a slackening of standards.

Player watch: Mitch O’Donnell. He’s as hard as a coffin nail and he’ll be granted more opportunity after an excellent pre-season.

Celebrating season 2014 with the Casey Scorpions and A Positive Move

Click on read more for a full club by club report.

From the Moreland Leader
Reported by Chris Cavanagh
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COBURG coach Peter ­German has revealed the club’s list could change by as much as 50 per cent as the Lions shift their focus ­toward season 2015.

During an in-depth interview with the Moreland Leader, German said the success Coburg enjoyed in its return to being a stand-alone club this season meant that players from across the region were now knocking down the door looking for a senior VFL opportunity.

“Last year it was like, ‘who wants to play for Coburg footy club?’,” German said. “We spoke to a lot of players and they pretty much dismissed us.

“Our brand was tarnished and I’m not sure if people saw there was a direction or possibly even a future.

“But 12 months down the track we’ve actually got really good players ringing us up wanting to come and play at Coburg. Our list could quite easily change by 30, 40, 50 per cent.”

Some punters questioned whether Coburg would survive one season alone after its 12-year alignment with Richmond ended after the 2013 season.

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