For Teague the decision was close to home, given he had taken over as playing-coach of the Bullants in 2008 before coaching the VFL side to consecutive grand finals in 2009 and 2010.
The 2004 Carlton best and fairest, in his first full season as an AFL coach, lamented the need for Northern to go by the wayside.
“Yeah, it was really sad for me. I played there and I started my coaching there, so from that point of view it’s extremely disappointing,” Teague said on Tuesday.
“Having lived it, I do understand the challenges that back then the Northern Bullants, Preston and now the Northern Blues, I do understand the challenges that they were having and it’s really sad. In the end it became a decision that probably had to happen with the financial position the whole AFL is in right now. I was really sad, but at times you’ve got to make these decisions in the best interests of the club.”
There could be more pain to come from a human resources perspective, with the Blues – who have already told the likes of Greg Williams, Saverio Rocca and Hamish McIntosh that there won’t be roles for them when football returns – bracing for a substantial cut to the AFL’s football department soft cap as part of league-wide austerity measures.
Teague said he felt for the affected coaches and staff who would find it hard to land another job in the AFL system.
“It’s going to be a challenge from what we’re hearing, and again there’s a lot of speculation. They’re talking about soft cap cuts. The biggest challenge that I’m facing is that there are going to be some really good people that aren’t going to have a job, and leaving one AFL club, it’s going to be really hard to go to another AFL club which is in the same position,” Teague said.
“If you work in other fields, you can go to other companies, but right now in football, the whole industry is going through it. If you worked in accounting, you could go to another accounting firm. Where in football, as coaches, there’s probably not many opportunities, so I’m going to be really sad for the coaches that miss out, and even the football staff in general from a high performance and medical point of view that miss out just because of the nature of where the game is at at the moment.”