Skontra takes on North Ballarat City job

NEW HOME: Shane Skontra at Mars Stadium
on Tuesday. Picture: Lachlan Bence.

NEW HOME: Shane Skontra at Mars Stadium on Tuesday. Picture: Lachlan Bence.

Shane Skontra has taken charge at North Ballarat City.

Skontra is the new senior coach of the Ballarat Football League club, replacing former leader Jordyn Burke, who stepped down after two years in the role.

The 40-year-old Skontra signed following news that Phil Crouch had taken up a position as North Ballarat City’s football manager.

Crouch, the father of Adelaide Crows brothers Brad and Matt, held a similar off-field role at Beaufort in recent years.

Skontra was senior coach at Bendigo league club Maryborough during 2016 and 2017 and guided the team to a drought-breaking victory late last season.

He previously held a director of coaching role at the Ballarat Swans and coached Waubra to two Central Highlands league flags. He is also a past senior interleague coach of the CHFL and BFL.

Skontra told The Courier changes in employment meant that any coaching roles he held needed to be in the Ballarat region and admitted he was motivated by the opportunity that presented with the Northies.

“Results have shown over a long period that North City have been a strong footy club and part of the values that we’ll bring with some of our new faces is that we want to be respected and hopefully very competitive,” he said.

Skontra said coaching was something he loved.

“Coaching stimulates me and probably helps with other factions of work. And I think work helps coaching and makes you a bit more rounded. There’s certainly some self-development in coaching,” he said.

“I’m looking forward to having the family integrated pretty close with the footy club through the junior ranks, so that’s exciting.”

North Ballarat City president Leon Jones said both Skontra and Crouch had been targeted by the club.

“They are the people that we needed to put the club in the new direction,” Jones said.

Jones said it was likely Skontra would be given a two-year deal with the option of a third, while Crouch is set to be heavily involved in recruiting as part of his role.

North Ballarat City snuck into the 2017 finals after a campaign that returned six victories.

The Northies were bundled out of the premiership race with a heavy elimination final defeat at the hands of eventual champions Darley.

In Burke’s first season in charge at North Ballarat City, the team finished in fifth position on the ladder before suffering an elimination final exit at the hands of Redan.

The club last won BFL senior premierships in 2013 and 2014, which came under the leadership of former coach Robbie Waters.