Exciting Coaches Announced for Southern Football Netball League's Interleague Netball Program 

The Southern Football Netball League (SFNL) has made a significant stride in its netball interleague program for 2024 by securing the expertise of two accomplished coaches. This year, the league will have the added opportunity to compete against Riddell District with both an Open and 21/U Team, promising an exhilarating showdown on the court. 

Leading the charge as the Open coach is AJ Ballantyne, the current Head Coach of Dingley’s esteemed netball program. With over a decade of coaching experience at the state league level, Ballantyne brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the SFNL's interleague program. Currently serving as Head Coach of Hawks Netball in the Victorian Netball League and Assistant Coach to the 19/U Victorian team at the upcoming National Netball Championships, Ballantyne is well-equipped to guide the team to success. 

Reflecting on the return of interleague netball, Ballantyne expressed his excitement: "It’s thrilling to see interleague netball back on the calendar. I vividly recall the intensity of the last interleague game four years ago against Riddell. I believe we're poised for another captivating contest that truly showcases the talent within both leagues." 

Joining Ballantyne is Darren Stafrace, the A1 Premiership Coach of Cheltenham, who will lead the 21/U team. Stafrace's four-year tenure at Cheltenham has been marked by notable success in developing the netball program. In an unexpected twist, Stafrace will now collaborate with his former Saturday competition rival, adding an intriguing dynamic to the coaching lineup. 

Expressing his enthusiasm for the interleague program, Stafrace stated, "I'm thrilled to be part of Interleague this year. The concept of a selected representative team competing against another has always intrigued me. With the abundance of high-caliber netballers within the SFNL, particularly in the 21/U category, I'm eager to assemble the best talent and showcase our capabilities on the court." 

Caitlin Walsh, the Netball Operations Coordinator, expressed pride in the selection of coaches and the expansion of the program to include younger talent. "It's fantastic to broaden our program to encompass a younger cohort of netballers this year. Providing such a competitive environment will offer invaluable experience to many players. With AJ and Darren at the helm, I have full confidence that they will serve as exemplary leaders for our athletes." 

The SFNL will face off against Riddell District FNL in netball, men's, and women's football at RSEA Park on Saturday, May 11th. The 21/U match will commence at 11:30 am, followed by the Open match at 12:50 pm. Situated at Linton St, RSEA Park promises to host a thrilling day of competition, drawing spectators eager to witness the prowess of these top-tier athletes. 

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