Ballina is back in business
RELEGATED Ballina will remain in Far North Coast men's premier division soccer next year after all, filling the spot left by Pottsville.
After finishing bottom of the points table this year, Ballina were destined for the drop to first division.
But the withdrawal of Pottsville from premiers led to Football FNC seeking applications from eligible clubs, with a play-off appearing likely.
It had been thought 2011 first division grand final winners Bangalow would apply for admission to premier division but the club decided to stay put.
Ballina submitted the only application and it was assessed as meeting all the criteria.
It is a great boost for the seaside club that is working to rebuild administratively and in playing personnel.
"Ballina recognises the need to develop programs and standards, both on and off the field, to ensure that it remains a force in local soccer," club president Tony Dunn said.
The club has appointed a junior coaching development officer and is one of the few local clubs soon to gain FFA club accreditation.
Premier division coach Rod Troughton is ecstatic about getting another opportunity and says supporters can expect to see a competitive team next season.
"Participation in the premier league is important to the development of younger players and giving them a pathway to higher level of football," Troughton said.
Lennox Head is also back in the top ranks after winning the first division minor premiership.
Ballina will field teams in men's and women's premier division for the first time in many years.