Preview: Blues v Lions

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It’s an old-school suburban battle at Preston City Oval. (PHOTO CREDIT: Rose Zarucky)

IT’S an old-school suburban battle at Preston City Oval.

The Northern Blues will meet Coburg in the 156th Battle of Bell Street, with the local rivals honouring their respective past in heritage guernseys.

Here’s everything you need to know about the Round 10 VFL clash.

Details: Preston City Oval, Sunday 9 June, 1pm
Broadcast: Due to Casey v Collingwood being broadcast on Channel 7, there will be no live-stream of the game.


After two consecutive losses, the game doesn’t just present a big day for the Club: it presents a big day in the context of Northern’s season.

Disappointed with late fade-outs against Sandringham and Essendon in the last fortnight, it’s key for the Blues to respond against a tricky opposition.

Despite having just the one win so far in 2019, the Lions were valiant in defeat against the Zebras, falling by just 10 points. Coburg has only gone within a goal of both Collingwood and Sandringham.

And as is always the case between suburban rivals, who knows what will go down when bragging rights in the Battle of Bell Street are up for grabs.


It won’t be hard to focus on the blonde 200cm ruckman at Preston this afternoon.

Tom De Koning will return to action, after a knee injury in the final practice match put a halt to his positive pre-season.

After his debut year yielded two AFL matches, De Koning – who can play either in the ruck or up forward – will be out to hit the ground running and provide a key target for Northern.

There’s no shortage of tall timber, with Patrick Kerr, Matthew Lobbe and Andrew Phillips all named to play.

Oh, and there’s a certain return of Alex Johnson as well.


The return of Preston red.

Northern has brought back the Bullant for its heritage round against the local rivals, and it’ll be difficult not to get caught up in the emotion of it.

Making its return for the first time in eight years, Josh Fraser will be hoping his side recaptures the ‘Ants’ Spirit’ as the Blues seek a return to winning ways.

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