The SFNL is pleased to announce that Dandenong Stingrays (TAC Cup) Assistant Coach Nathan Harris has been appointed as Head Coach of the SFNL Under 18 Interleague team.
St Pauls Under 19 coach Wayne Herbstreit has also been appointed as the Chairman of Selectors and will assist Harris as a line coach at training and on match day.
Both men have a wealth of coaching experience at various levels and will add a high degree of professionalism to the Under 18 squad.
A former Southern League player himself, Harris said he was excited to be a part of the Interleague team and give back to the SFNL community.
“Yeah it’s an exciting time obviously. It’s a big thrill and (I’m) looking forward to the challenge and working with some of these young talented footballers in the region,” Harris said.
“(I’m) a local to the region, having played in (the SFNL) myself at St Kilda City, (and) I’m always looking to further develop myself, but (also) give back what was given to me by people back in those times.”
Harris has been involved in underage high-performance coaching structures for several years and places a strong emphasis on the development of young talent. He has served as a bench coach for the Vic Country Under 18 team in the AFL National Championships since 2013 and has been Forward Line Coach of the Stingrays for the past two seasons.
A very talented footballer himself, Harris also played at a high level, including stints at Sandringham Dragons (TAC Cup), Sandringham Zebras (VFL) and De La Salle (Premier A VAFA). He was also a member of St Kilda City’s 2008 premiership team under then-coach Richard Houston.
But after succession of serious injuries he abandoned his playing career and moved into several off-field roles, including coaching.
Harris has since enjoyed developing the skills and abilities of young footballers, and will be a tremendous influence on the League’s underage talent throughout the Interleague program.
As Chairman of Selectors, Herbstreit will have a big say in which SFNL players Harris will have to work with.
He, too, has had a lengthy involvement in youth development as the coach of St Pauls’ Under 19 team since its inauguration in 2009. Herbstreit has also been involved in coaching the club’s junior teams at various ages groups.
Like Harris, Herbstreit is excited to be a part of the SFNL Interleague set-up, but concedes he has a tough job ahead of him picking the right mix of players to get the job done on game day.
“I guess we’ve got to get a mixture. I know last year with the junior Interleague side they got caught out in the end and had to put in second preferences because every (club) sent in midfielders,” Herbstreit said.
“(We) just need to get a mix of key positions and rucks and obviously a good blend of midfielders to bring in.
“(But) it’s going to be a big few weeks watching the kids on the track.”
MEANWHILE, the SFNL has just announced Lyndhurst FNC as the Interleague host club.
All 2016 Football and Netball Interleague matches between the SFNL and the Ellinbank & District Football League will be held at the Lightning’s home venue, Marriott Waters Reserve
, on Saturday 21st May.
SFNL General Manager – Operations Adam Sparrow said the League is looking forward to taking the Interleague matches to Lyndhurst.
“The club impressed throughout the tender process and we’re sure all footballers, netballers and spectators will enjoy state of the art facilities on what should be a great day for all involved,” Sparrow said.