The players eligible for selection in the McDonald's Ballarat AFL Goldfields Academy Program are from all Leagues affiliated with AFL Goldfields. The Academy is proudly supported by the Western Bulldogs FC and McDonald's Ballarat.
The McDonald's Ballarat AFL Goldfields Academy will be an elite development program for approximately 45 players at each age group and will include the leading young footballers from across the Ballarat FNL, Central Highlands FL and the Maryborough Castlemaine DFNL.
Some of the objectives of this junior program will be as follows:
Increase the depth of talent within the Ballarat FNL, CHFL and MCDFNL Junior competitions through exposing more players to a higher level of coaching and participation than is available in their home clubs.
Increase the standard of competition within the various junior leagues through up skilling more players with the confidence and coaching to play at a higher standard.
Expand the opportunity for more players to be considered for interleague representation
Develop a pathway for prospective inter league players without limiting the scope of the programs reach.
The Academy is designed to complement the various Interleague Programs in the same way that the Interleague Program complements the elite programs within the TAC pathways.
At representative level we strive to influence the on-field behaviour of young players. Through the Academy we hope to extend this influence and reach.
Extend and improve the quality of coaching within the Ballarat FNL, CHFL and MCDFNL Junior competitions by involving more coaches in the Academy than can typically be catered for at Interleague level. In doing so we aspire to –Provide a forum for coaches to be exposed to and mentored by more senior and experienced coaches, ideally influencing their behaviours in a positive manner when coaching at local or representative level
Provide a forum for coaches to interact and build relationships between clubs
Promote appropriate behaviour from coaches to players
The operation of the AFL Goldfields Junior Academy will fall under the direction of the AFL Goldfields Football Development Managers, and will be supported where possible by Nth Ballarat Rebels. The program will be delivered by coaches with previous interleague experience, or they will be identified as appropriate Coaches to aid and assist in Junior Development. An overall Head Coach will set the direction of the Program and the training to be completed for each of the sessions.
Clubs will be asked to nominate players based on their performance throughout the season with Ballarat FL Juniors to have a minimum of 30 players, CHFL and MCDFL players will make up the remainder of each squad.