You could say Kevin Breen has done it all when it comes to Coburg.
Since his arrival at the club as a sixteen year old, to him the place still feels like home, although he did have a stint at rival club Werribee.
A Premiership Player, former coach, a club director, the clubs director of football and legend status in the club’s hall of fame, Breen has been well regarded as amongst the clubs finest, amongst the likes of Phil Cleary, Brad Nimmo, Col Kinnear, Mick Erwin and many others.
However, Breen is about to embark on a new role at the club, starting quite soon.
At the Clubs AGM held recently, Breen was appointed to take over as the new president of the club by the outgoing president, Bill Balakis.
While Breen will have big shoes to fill with the long serving Balakis departing, he has nothing but praise for Balakis and what he has done for the club in his stint at the top, leaving a lasting legacy at Piranha Park.
“Bill no doubt has done a fantastic job as the club’s president in his time in the role-especially during the Richmond era which was a difficult time for the club on many fronts, however it is nothing but an opportunity to progress forward.”
While the club has made more than 20 signings for the 2015 season, Breen believes that no signings for the club since it’s return to stand alone status have been bigger than two key men in off field positions- Peter German and Craig Lees.
“In my eyes, Peter and Craig have been the recruits of the 2014 season.” Breen says.
“Peter you could arguably say is the best coach in the competition, and you could say the same with Craig with regards to the General Manager position after being at Melbourne-his relationship with Peter in their time together at Casey was crucial in getting him to the club in that role.”
Breen sees the vision of the Coburg Football Club as one that will take time to improve in its second year as a stand-alone club, and it will be a “year by year” progression as to how it will occur, with regards to the administration and the players themselves.
“We want the public to understand we are no longer the Coburg Tigers or the Richmond Reserves side, and that we are the Coburg Football Club itself- we are the Lions or the Burgers in the Victorian Football League, as it was to begin with.”
Breen also says that he wants to ensure that Coburg is established as the leading destination for players wanting to play in the VFL senior competition, in Melbourne’s North West, especially given that players won’t have to worry about AFL selections being a factor.
“We want to be one of the leading destinations for players wanting to play VFL from the Western, Northern, Essendon and Riddell District Leagues. Not only do we want to be considered by Calder Cannons players following the completion of their time in the TAC Cup, we also want to be considered by players from the Northern Knights, Western Jets, Murray Bushrangers and Bendigo Pioneers. “
With a completely new board to be introduced following Breen’s appointment, he is keen to ensure that it has stability for the long term.
“The new board will consist of businessmen, as well as past players.” Breen said that the club’s board needs to be business minded, and must go down that field in order to succeed, as it gives the club more potential sponsorship opportunities. The past players on the board will also be crucial for the future stability of the club.
Breen is also keen to have an impact as Coburg’s president. “I want the board to be well established while also supporting Peter and Craig, I want strength and leadership at the top flowing right through.”
The new board will consist of Breen, Nazih Dib, Wayne McLachlan, Alex Sapurnas, Ben Meilak, Mick Erwin and Jason Milani.
While 2014 was a difficult year on many fronts for Coburg, there is nothing but exciting times ahead at Piranha Park. With changes occurring in most departments, there is no doubt the Coburg Football Club will be up there as one of the competitions best sides.