MURRAY MERGER: Hawks, Tigers discuss joining as one team

FIERCE rivals Barooga and ­Cobram are exploring the option of merging.

In what would be a stunning move, the pair of Murray league heavyweights have revealed they would be open to the idea of joining forces if it was in the best interests of football in the area.

The Hawks and Tigers have met more than once this year to discuss the idea.

With player shortages, increasing costs and lopsided competitions a problem statewide, Barooga president Andrew Leighton-Daly said it was incumbent on his club’s committee to explore every option.

But he said there was no reason for those involved with either club to panic about the situation.

“We’ve discussed the idea, but that’s about it,” Leighton-Daly said.

“Any talk about a merger is probably a little premature.

“We’ve had a couple of yarns to discuss a number of things, which will take some time to go through.

“As a club, we’re certainly quite open to whatever is in the best interests of our club.

“We’re just exploring what the future might hold.

“And that’s not something that’s exclusive to the Barooga-Cobram area.”

Cobram president Chris Ryan said this week the costs and pressures of running a country football club meant the idea was something worth discussing.

The Hawks and Tigers have met representatives from the Berrigan and Moira councils, as well as local businesspeople, to discuss the idea.

Cobram and Barooga have previously played as a merged entity, according to Murray league records.

The clubs joined forces in 1936 and played as Cobram-Barooga United, but the union lasted only one season.