SFNL Development Squad Feature Article

It has been an amazing opportunity for young southern footballers to improve their skills as the Southern Football Netball League has continued its development squad in partnership with the St. Kilda Football Club.

The program caters to both male and female footballers, aimed at further developing and enhancing player skills, fitness and education with a link to higher level competitions and players.

The SFNL Development Squad was founded in 2021 with this being the second year of the program, this year the women’s football program is run by Selena Karlson while the men’s is led by Trent Dennis Lane, Chris McKay & Brad Crouch.

[caption id="attachment_23759" align="alignnone" width="2560"] L-R: Chris McKay, Selena Karlson, Lee Hartman & Trent Dennis Lane[/caption]

To be eligible for the program, clubs must nominate players to the SFNL, who will then use a testing day to narrow it down to a squad of 25 men and 20 women for selection for the each season of the program.

The SFNL Development Squad is a program run at RSEA Park, led by a range of St Kilda Football Club coaches and also a range of St Kilda Football Club off-field experts that will go through a range on/off-field sessions to help benefit, grow and develop players within the SFNL

“With the SFNL being based here at RSEA Park, it gives us a great opportunity to build a relationship with St Kilda Football Club. To tap into their resources and coaches for a program like this is a fantastic opportunity for our players and clubs.”

Luke Henry is the SFNL Football & Administration Coordinator the program as well as working alongside St.Kilda FC staff to execute it.

“The aim is for these players involved in the squad to hopefully take the next step and go from local to VFL/VFLW football. From last years program there have been 4 players from the men’s program and 1 player from the women’s program that have gone onto be on 2022 VFL/VFLW lists.”.

Participants have been able to focus on kicking techniques, handball techniques and contest work while also enjoying yoga classes, game vision sessions and working on their athletic identity.

The SFNL is the only senior football league to have such a strong partnership with an Australian Football League club, something that will continue to benefit member clubs.

“We hope that the players involved in the program learn and develop a range of skills from the on field and off field to help them grow, and to take them to the next level in their football, whether this is at a higher level, or improving their game at local level.”

As this is an annual program, missing out this year is not the end of an opportunity to get a taste of an AFL environment.

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