SEBASTOPOL Football Club has taken the first steps towards what it believes will be a renaissance for its culture and on-field R.
Last night’s training session was overseen by St Kilda coach Scott Watters in the latest strategic step towards forging strong ties with the AFL club.
Afterwards both Watters and St Kilda head of football Chris Pelchen spoke to Sebastopol coaches and players on maintaining close ties with the local community.
“We’re trying to embrace the Ballarat community and show them that the Sebastopol Football Club is a nice organisation to be a part of,” Sebastopol Football Club president John Lyon said.
“We’re trying to give our football matches a carnival-like atmosphere where families can come and enjoy the day, and we hope to see significant gains from this in the near future.”
The Kookaburras first approached St Kilda in March, believing the two clubs to be on similar wavelengths in terms of a total rebuild.
Since then the Sebastopol board has consulted with Pelchen regularly throughout the year in a bid to improve its standing in Ballarat Football League circles, and hopes that the advice given will translate directly into player morale and their community reputation.
Sebastopol is fighting to overcome a spell of losses and public perceptions that may affect recruitment and gate takings.
“There are definitely real parallels between where Sebastopol and St Kilda are at,” Pelchen said.
“Real character is built by getting through the tougher times — and hopefully people will start to see a different club two and three years down the track.”
Watters urged Sebastopol’s young players, who haven’t won a game this season, to remain loyal to the club and wait for the wheel to turn.
“It’s important for players to remember where they come from, because clubs like Sebastopol are as important as any in terms of the bigger picture of the AFL and where it is heading,” Watters said.