St Kilda Football Club is proud to announce a new partnership with AFL South East (AFLSE) and the Frankston and District Junior Football League (FDJFL).
The Saints reaffirmed their continuing commitment to the Frankston area in an agreement that will see the two organisations work together to strengthen community football and junior talent pathways in the Southern Bayside area.
The partnership will create a strong pathway from junior-level club football to the development program, right through to the Saints’ Next Generation Academy (NGA), fostering high-end talent in the southern reaches of the club’s NGA zone.
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The FDJFL development programs new affiliation with the Saints’ NGA will mean more resources, coaching expertise and development opportunities for its players, as well as allowing St Kilda to better identify and nurture the best football talent in the Frankston region.
St Kilda’s commitment to the Frankston area extends beyond football as well, with a big focus placed on providing off-field skill enhancement to build better people in the community.
FDJFL coaches and club staff will also be provided with the opportunity to undergo both personal and professional development through the NGA.
With the Southern Saints playing their inaugural year in the VFLW this year and a successful bid for an affiliate AFLW team in 2020, St Kilda has shown a firm commitment to developing the national sport for women and increasing its inclusivity.
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The new partnership will aim to increase participation rates for girls and multicultural youth, with a major focus on creating a concrete pathway for females in football in the Southern Bayside zone.
The Saints have benefitted from the talent coming out of the Bayside region, with two current senior players both having plied their trade in the FDJFL in their youth.
Dylan Roberton played for Frankston YCW, while teammate Jack Lonie played for Seaford.
“I absolutely loved my time playing for Seaford in the FDJFL,” Lonie said
“It’s been a really strong competition for a number of years so it’s great to see the Saints giving back to my old league.”
Jack Lonie in action for the Saints
For AFL South East Peninsula Leagues Manager Shaun Connell, the partnership represents a significant step for football in the Frankston and District area which has experienced 11% growth in junior participation in 2018.
“To have an elite football club like St Kilda throw their support behind local footy is something really exciting,” Connell said.
“We’re committed to working with St Kilda to build a strong community partnership that has mutual benefits for FDJFL clubs, its participants, and the St Kilda Football Club”