NEW Ballarat Football League interleague coach Shane Skontra has surrounded himself with football heavyweights in a bid to see Ballarat earn a chance to be the best ranked football league in Victoria.
As the BFL prepares to take on Goulburn Valley Football League in May, Skontra has assembled an all-star BFL coaching panel to guide what is certain to be a completely revamped team from last year.
In addition to Skontra (Ballarat’s director of coaching), three current BFL senior coaches will combine to help steer the side.
Reigning North Ballarat City premiership coach Rob Waters has been enlisted to impart his knowledge, while Lake Wendouree coach Gavin Webb and incoming Melton coach Brad Murphy will also join.
Ballarat assistant coach Adam Sewell is also on the coaching panel, as is Darley assistant Matt Cape.
Former Creswick coach and Redan premiership player Damien Lubeek is the final piece in the puzzle, as the only assistant coach without current ties to a BFL club.
Skontra said the panel he had assembled was part of a plan to create an improved culture within BFL interleague ranks.
“We’re trying to create a culture over the next few years that is going to be sustainable,” he said.
“It’s about creating a club-like culture and having guys from all these different clubs with so much knowledge of the league can only help.”
Skontra said there had been a four-year plan implemented that aimed to develop more consistency within the BFL team on a year-to-year basis.
Coming in as the fourth interleague coach in as many years and the fifth in six years, Skontra acknowledged there was a need for consistency among the league for long-term success.
“I’m not saying I’m necessarily coaching for the next four years, it’s about ensuring we can make changes as soon as possible if they do happen,” he said.
“The importance on making interleague strong is huge.
“We certainly won’t be forcing anyone to play, after all it is an individual choice. But in the end it is how the league is judged and it’s massive for us.”
An initial training squad will be selected after round two of the BFL season, although there will still be scope for alterations after the initial squad has been chosen.
Ballarat will travel to Goulburn Valley on the weekend of May 24 and 25, with the winner to advance to next year’s battle for the number one ranking.