Sebastopol is ramping up efforts to ensure it fields an under-18.5 team in the Ballarat Football League this year.
New club president Darren Hammill has no doubt that the Burra has the right coaching, development and support structures in place to make playing with Sebastopol at that level attractive.
He says it is now down to attracting players.
The under-10s 12s and 14s are flying with numbers again.Sebastopol president Darren Hammill
While it is not a new problem for Sebastopol, Hammill said a new-look administration was determined to succeed.
Burra life member and former senior coach Shawne Dummett has taken on the role of under-18.5 coach, with the support of another club legend Chris Parker.
“We also have a commitment from Brett Goodes, Tony Lockyer and our other VFL recruits along with other senior players to help develop all under-age players.”
Sebastopol battled through the under-18.5 season last year, using players still eligible for under-16s.
The Burra fielded a team for 13 of the 16 scheduled home and away rounds.
Hammill said not having under-16.5 teams last season meant there was no flow-on effect.
He said as well putting out a general call to players who looked like missing out on a game at other clubs, Sebastopol was also making a concerted effort to recruit new secondary school boarders in Ballarat.
Hammill said the club had been liaising with schools in the hope of opening up this avenue to newcomers.
The president said the club’s junior structure as a whole was on the up.
After not having under-16.5 seniors or reserves and under-14 seniors last year, Sebastopol was set to have a full quota acrosse under-10s, 12s and 14s, as well as an under-16.5 reserves.
“The under-10s 12s and 14s are flying with numbers again,” Hammill said.
He is confident that wthe the senior level on the rise with a significant number of quality recruits under new coach Leigh Hutchinson, that the improved vibe at Marty Busch Reserve will flow through all football and netball ranks.
Sebastopol has its under-age registration session at Marty Busch Reserve on Thursday from 4.15pm (juniors) and 6pm (under-18.5).
Hammill said this was an opportunity for youngsters and their parents to get down to the club and hear how well things were going.
”The club has turned the corner and now only requires the under-16.5 and under-18.5 gap to make us strong overall once again,” he said.
Prospective under-18,5 players may get in touch with Shawne Dummett (0408 171964) or Chris Parker (0438 359949).
THE BFNL junior season will begin on the weekend of Saturday, April 21, and Sunday, April 22.
This will be preceded by lightning premierships.
Saturday, April 14: under-14 football, 15/under netball
Sunday, April 15: under-12 football, 13/under netball