BALLARAT will have its own team in the Victorian Champions Soccer League for the first time this season.
Ballarat players have been part of the Wimmera South Coast Eagles for the past three summers.
The squad has been split to form the Ballarat-based Southern Cross Strikers and Greater Geelong Galaxy.
Club president Chris Wines said having two teams made training easier to access.
The Strikers have seven teams in the under-age league – four male and three female from under-13 to under-17.
The squad features players from Warrnambool, Hamilton and Horsham.
Wines said with the region cut in half, the club was able to give more players an opportunity in the development league.
Paul Smalley is the Southern Cross head coach.
The Strikers open the season against Western Wolves at Caroline Springs tomorrow.
“Everyone is really excited about this weekend,” Wines said.
“It will be a big challenge. For some players, they will really just be getting a feeling of the competition.”