Reported by Patrick Lane
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The AFL club and its VFL alignment, which splits its home games between Coburg City Oval and Craigieburn's Highgate Recreation Reserve, originally planned to maintain their alignment until 2014, but have mutually agreed to bring forward the termination of the agreement.

Richmond will field a stand-alone reserves side in the VFL in 2014, following the likes of Collingwood and Geelong, while Coburg will again stand on its own in the state competition, and revert back to being the Lions.

Richmond chief executive Brendon Gale said the agreement reached was the best outcome for both clubs.


Can Coburg survive as a stand-alone club? I hope so, alot will depend on what current debts they have. If they can start off in the black then they should make a good go of it.

The Northern Suburbs needs a stand-alone team and Coburg now have the opportunity to be that team. Realistically there isn't room for 2 stand-alone teams in the North.

The Bullants and Coburg initially stood alone and in the early 2000's the Bullants seemed to have won that battle but by 2003 both sides were aligned. However they were the times of transfer fees, the bottom end of AFL lists were older and everyone said you can't win a premiership standing alone

Even today I don't think people would have accepted a Bullants-Coburg merger. With the Bullants gone, Coburg are free to take the mantle as the stand-alone side representing the North.

I'm sure Coburg will be a little circumspect about how they brand their new venture and might even avoid conflict with the AFL seconds side to the East of Bell Street, however the playing lists will tell a tale of who does truly represent the North,including the corridor!

23 spots available for Coburg players in the seniors each week compared to a handful up the road. As we saw recently even making the state squad doesn't mean you're in that mob's 'best 23', then again I suppose they have won 2 games so it must be a hard side to break into.

Mr Cleary once said 'Preston is Preston and Coburg is Coburg'. True, but the times they are a changing and this time they be changing for the better.

"East of Bell Street"? Preston ground is NORTH of Bell Street, Coburg's is south of Bell Street. (Picky).

Coburg's viability if they become a stand-alone VFL club will have nothing to do with the presence of the Northern Bullants/Blues.

Rather it will depend on whether Coburg can attract the local investment to keep young talent past the age of 21, when AFL dreams start to fade and the cheque books of EDFL clubs come calling.