AFL statement regarding the VFL Competition

The AFL have re-stated their support for the existing state league football structure.

In a recent statement delivered to the Presidents and CEO’s of all the VFL stand-alone clubs, the AFL Head of Talent Pathways & State League Competitions, Mr Tristan Salter, said: “Following recent inaccurate media reports on the future of 2nd tier competitions, the AFL provides the following response: State League competitions and your clubs play a critical role in the development of elite talent and provide the highest level of competition outside of the AFL while ensuring a strong connection to community. State Leagues also provide important pathway opportunities for staff (administrators / coaches / fitness / trainers / medical). No decision has been made to change the structure of second tier competitions, and we are focused on strengthening the existing talent pathways to ensure the best opportunity is afforded to players to compete at the highest level possible.”

Coburg GM Sebastian Spagnuolo welcomed the AFL’s statement “The issue around the future of the VFL competition always creates some nervous times for all VFL clubs and their stakeholders including players, staff, members and sponsors, so this statement should go some way to ease those fears. Our club’s operations team in conjunction with our club’s board will continue to search for ways to make our club profitable and financially viable whilst playing a major role in the community and also contributing to the VFL competition from an on field competitiveness and talent point of view. We know what we need to do and we’re working hard to achieve our club and team goals. We are pleased to get this statement from the AFL as it sends a wider message that the VFL competition is still looked upon as a major and valued piece of the AFL talent pathway and our club is also playing a role in that.”

Talent Pathway
As a talent pathway, our Club has just produced 4 players that have entered the AFL system in the past 5 years. We have also seen many staff members move onto roles within the AFL industry from media, recruiting and medical levels of our club and we will continue to provide professional development opportunities to staff where possible. We are the only standalone VFL club in the Northern Suburbs so for talented players with football aspirations, we are the best option for them to play VFL football and showcase their talent.

Piranha Park hosted over 80 different football teams in 2018 (VFL, EDFL, VAFA, Super rules, FIDA, Junior football and Auskick) and over 3,000 participants, plus various community groups and schools. The ground and venue is also used by our club to create a platform for our club’s violence against women Vicki Cleary Day and our NAIDOC week celebrations too. Many talented young footballers of the region play their EDFL Junior Finals and Grand Finals here which create long lasting memories for the young players and their families.

With the support of local Council, State Government and the AFL, our facility will undergo a much needed redevelopment that when finished, will see Coburg and Moreland hold an elite football facility which will be more comparable to current VFL standards. The club is excited to see the delivery of a brand new grandstand, social club and 4 new changerooms. The redevelopment is set to take place in 2020/21.


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