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State Academies

WA State Academy 

The WA State Academy program is an elite football environment that focuses on individual player development. It is centred on the development of the person and their ability to contribute in a team environment.

The Academy is divided into separate but closely aligned programs. The WA 16’s State Academy is designed for players aged 16 and acts as the initial introduction to a state based elite football program. The WA 18’s State Academy is the next phase of the Academy journey and caters for 17 and 18 year olds.

There are also WA Female State Programs that focus on the development of female players including State 16s, Youth Girls and Women, as well as female coaches and support staff.

WA State Academy - Philosophies 

  • To select the most talented developing players available ie players who demonstrate the most distinct attributes to progress into WAFL senior football and / or AFL football;
  • A year long commitment to academy members;
  • A holistic approach to player development;
  • Emphasise individual player development within a team context;
  • Academy staff to work in partnership with WAFL colts staff / WAFL development coaches to develop individual players;
  • Involvement in the Academy does not automatically include participation in the NAB National Championships.

WA State Academy - Objectives 

  • To create an environment that is enjoyable, positive and fosters individual learning styles;
  • Contribute to the development of skills, physical attributes, football knowledge, personal growth and self esteem of all players;
  • The Academy to be a key tool in the broader strategy of developing coaches;

WA State Academy – Selection Process 

  • Nominations from WAFL clubs;
  • Upon viewing the nomination, State Academy selectors finalise composition of squad;
  • The preferred pathway for all players is to be playing with their WAFL club;
  • Selector’s have the capacity to add players to the Academy as the season progresses;

WA Talent Academy Staff

Adam Jones – State Talent Manager
Clayton Anderson – Talent Programs Coordinator
Aaron Ballantyne – State Talent Officer  

WA Female Talent Academy

The WAFC Female Talent program is an elite football environment that focusses on individual player development. It is centred on the development of the person and their ability to contribute in a team environment via the WAFC Female Talent Academy or the State 15 Schoolgirls, U18 Women, U23 Women or Open Women’s teams.

The program also focuses on the development of a pathway for female coaches to coach at an elite level and an opportunity to be mentored by more experienced coaches and liaise effectively with the WA AFL teams and the AFL.

All WAFC Female Talent programs are conducted at All Saints College, Bull Creek unless otherwise stated.

WA Female Talent Academy - Philosophies

  • To select the most talented developing players available;
  • A holistic approach to player development;
  • Emphasise individual player development within a team context Encourage female coaches to coach AFL at an elite level.
  • Allow players to experience the Draft and playing at elite AFL level

WA Female Talent Academy - Objectives

  • To create an environment that is fun, positive and fosters friendships;
  • Contribute to the development of football skills, football knowledge, physical strength and conditioning, personal growth and self-esteem of all players;
  • Develop elite female coaches and coaches of females

WA Female Talent Academy - Staff

WAFC Female Talent Manager – Alison Moore 0430 868 145

Staff are appointed on two-year contracts and must submit their application to the WAFC Female Talent Manager. Coaches must be accredited and hold a Level 2 or 3 certificate to be considered.

Younger Development Coaches who hold a Level 1 certificate especially females are considered a vital part of the programs growth and are encouraged to apply especially for positions within the Talent Academy, where they can be shadowed by experienced coaches.

WA Female Talent Academy - Structure

The WAFC Talent Academy was established in 2013. It has grown substantially from 20 players to now developing over 400 female footballers annually. All State female players should be involved in the WAFC Talent Academy, which runs from November to March each year on Saturday mornings from 8.00am – 10.00am at All Saints College. This consists of approximately 15 coaching sessions and two formal fitness testing situations.

Players are invited into the Talent Academy after being nominated by WAWFL Clubs, Junior Clubs, teachers or coaches. Players from all State teams will automatically be invited into the Talent Academy every year. Players may also be identified playing at Country Week, Dockers Cup competitions, Schoolgirls competitions, Indigenous and multicultural competitions. FIFO and remote country players are also included in this method of selection and identification.

The WAFC Talent Academy consists of 5 tiers;

  • 14-18yrs Development Squad
  • 16-18yrs Talent Academy (Elite)
  • 19-21yrs Talent Academy (Elite)
  • 22- 30yrs Talent Group
  • 19-30yrs Development Squad

IN 2017 the WAFC will endeavour to coordinate a talent camp involving four country female players selected from each district. A weekend of skills sessions will culminate with players playing in the Curtain Raiser for the Country Landmark Grand Final. 

State Female Program - Selection Process

Individual nominations – State 15 Schoolgirls, U18 Youth Girls, U23yrs and Open Women;

Upon completing nominations, players are required to attend three trials. State coaches and or selection panels will determine the final squad.

The preferred pathway for most players is to be involved with their WAWFL or Junior Football Club, so they are playing regular football. All talented players should be participating in the WAFC Female Talent Academy program, which runs from November – March each year. Only a few players outside of the Talent Academy will be selected in State teams.

SSWA State 15 Schoolgirls

This program is the initial introduction to the State female program. It is designed for those talented players aged between 13yrs and up to 15yrs of age and managed by School Sport WA with strong support from the WAFC.

National competitions are conducted on an annual basis with host states rotated based on School Sport Australia policies. This program is growing from strength to strength as more states join the competition. 

Players indicate their interest in the team by attending the selection trials as listed on the SSWA website. Selectors choose a squad of 30 players. In 2016 the girls played in Maroochydore QLD in July. In 2017 the National Championships will be held in Perth.

State U18 Women

This program caters for females aged between 16yrs to 18yrs of age on the year of competition. This national competition is conducted annually with states officially vying for the right to host the National Championships. In 2016 this event was played in Victoria.

This competition is usually played in May, with initial selections occurring in early January each year. Players indicate their interest in the team by attending the selection trials at All Saints College.

Selectors choose between 24 - 26 players. Training sessions usually occur Sunday mornings with scratch matches held throughout the week. In 2017 the National U18 Women’s competition will be divided into 2 rounds with Round 1 being played in May in NSW and Round 2 in July in QLD.

State U23 Women

This is a new program initiated in 2016 to allow younger players not selected for AFL teams to experience high quality state games. Players must be aged 19 – 23yrs on the year of the competition. Selectors choose 24 players.

In late June 2016 WA arranged to play QLD in Brisbane, QLD. Current AFL representative players are not permitted to trial for this team. Following on from the success of the 2016 competition, WA will host QLD in 2017. 

Trials and training sessions begin in March each year.

State Open Women

This program caters for elite women aged 23yrs and above. Those players seeking to be in an AFL team in the future who are experienced players or outstanding younger players should aspire to be in this team. Selectors choose 24 players. No AFL players will be permitted in this team

In 2016, WA travelled to Victoria in June to play the Western Bulldogs. In 2017 WA will take on SA. Dates TBA.

Trials and training sessions begin in March each year.