2024 Boys

Youth Academy

Stepping up to the competition

The Boys Youth Pathway focuses on stepping up to the competition.

Players in this age group have moved into a new phase and are now exposed to playing representative football. At this developmental stage players are ambitious and eager to be challenged.

These critical years define players who will start to separate themselves from others and stand out. It is about understanding the importance of knowledge and becoming a student of the game, taking on the responsibility and commitment, and ultimately know that you are in control of your journey, no one else.

Players will participate in age-relevant and specific education, which utilises the extensive Rookie Me curriculum. They will focus on core subjects of Football, High Performance, and Leadership.

Our coaches are primed to impact players at this level. We are here to prepare you for representative football, and ensure that you are equipped to progress and succeed with fellow high-level footballers.

Face-to-face training

Performance Testing

Digital Education

Training Program

Unique Experiences

Gear and Merchandise

*Please note, orders placed after June 1, 2024 may not receive merchandise in time for upcoming camps. For more info on price and payment plans, Contact Us

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Football

  • Fundamental Football

    At all levels of football, it is critical to develop a strong foundation for the Fundamentals of football.

    The techniques for the fundamental skills of the game, and also the basic understanding of ‘game sense’ have been identified as key foundation pieces for your journey as a footballer. This section of the curriculum will be built-on throughout each player's Rookie Me Academy journey.

    Breaking down the layers of each skill technique, allows players to see first-hand how their skill can be improved. Key elements include high repetition, and the balance of speed and accuracy to support development of each skill.

    SKILL

    Each year, players will be equipped to excel at the key fundamental skills of the game, which include:

    • Kicking.
    • Hand-Balling.
    • Ball Handling.
    • Combat safety.
    STRATEGY

    Each year, players will be exposed to the initial concepts of reading the play.
    Understanding the THREE phases of the game, and piecing together the basic questions of game sense:

    • Where am I?
    • Where is the football?
    • What is happening?
  • Game Sense

    Australian rules football is diverse and forever evolving. The development of a player's Game Sense is to identify a moment in a game and react accordingly to have an impact.

    Working from the Rookie Me Curriculum, and using the ‘THREE Phases of the Game’, attacking, defending and contesting, the Youth Academy athletes will be exposed to level 2 education on topics such as:

    • Defending an opponent and space.
    • Pressure defence.
    • Using an outnumber.
    • Ball Movement.
    • Supporting the ball carrier.
    • Scoring.

    In 2024, the focus of the Game Sense Football modules will give players a greater understanding of how to move the football from a contest, or a specific part of the field and ultimately work together to score. Also, included in this year's program is looking at upskilling players on the key ‘craft’ of playing as a defender. These topics include:

    • Ball Movement.
    • Scoring.
    • Defenders Craft.
  • Combat Skills

    Australian rules football is a physical contest and we encourage you to embrace combat, and welcome the battle. Combat skills are important everywhere and can be used in every position and in every situation in a game.

    In 2024, the focus of the Combat modules will explore the need for combat when in-play, as both a defender and an attacker. This teaches the footballer to physically create space between themself and their opponent, protection of the drop zone in a marking contest, or controlling your opponent in a 1v1 combat, to gain an advantage.

    *Across the Youth Academy, athletes will be exposed to level 2 education on topics such as:

    • Tackling from all angles.
    • Protect the drop zone.
    • Falling safely.
    • 1 v 1 combat.
    • Creating space.
    • Corralling to control space.
    • Bumping and shepherding.
    • Ball winning under pressure.
    • Gaining an advantage in a contest.

    *The combat education will mirror the football ‘Game Sense’ education at each school holiday event. So whatever the football module being taught, the combat program will be used to enhance the education.

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High Performance

  • Fundamental High Performance

    At the Youth level, it is critical to develop a strong foundation for the FUNDAMENTALS of High Performance and how you are able to best set up your physical journey both on-and-off the field.

    Performance preparation and assessing your physical characteristics, are key foundation pieces for your journey as an athlete.

    This area of the curriculum will be built upon throughout the Rookie Me Academy player journey.

    COMBINE TESTING

    Players will be exposed to TWO verified combine testing events throughout the 2024 Rookie Me Academy. These events introduce players to the techniques of each testing metric, which allows them to create a profile for monitoring progress and improvement and connecting players to talent pathways throughout their Rookie Me Academy journey.

    WARMING UP

    The importance of warming up your body and being prepared to attempt physical activity is a key foundation of getting the most out of your body and your training. Learning the keys to warming up properly, sets you up to hit the ground running when you start training, and prevents you from getting any unnecessary injuries.

  • Strength and Conditioning

    Strength and conditioning is a massive piece of the footballer’s puzzle. Developing yourself as an athlete is as valuable as developing your kicking and handballing skills; and by learning adequate techniques and concepts allows players to consistently progress on their physical development journey. Across the Youth Academy, athletes will be exposed to Level 2 Education on topics such as:

    • Strength training.
    • Understanding Speed and Agility for AFL.
    • Understanding Endurance for AFL.
    • Injuries / Rehab training / Overtraining.

    In 2024, the focus of the Strength & Conditioning module will emphasise that the nature of Australian rules football requires players to work extremely hard. Exposing young players to the fitness standards that are required at the elite level will give them the edge and fuel the ability for players to keep going when they feel exhausted. The module topic is:

    • Understanding Endurance for AFL
  • Preparation

    Preparation is an important element for every footballer. Both physical and mental preparation impacts a player’s ability to develop, stay focused, be consistent and ultimately perform on the field. Across the Youth Academy, athletes will be exposed to Level 2 Education on topics such as:

    • Pre-and-post game nutrition.
    • Game day routines.
    • Psychology for better mental health.
    • Prehab training.
    • Dealing with concussion.

    In 2024, the focus of the Preparation modules will explore how caring for your mental health can impact your overall output as a player and teammate. Preparation of diet and eating habits will also be an area for review, with a specific focus on food intake as a footballer prior to a game in order to fuel performance. Then to further explore food intake after a game, to assist with recovery, re-fuelling and repair. These topics include:

    • Psychology for better mental health.
    • Pre-and-post game nutrition.
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Leadership

  • Fundamental Leadership

    At Youth level, we actively promote the need to develop a strong foundation for the FUNDAMENTALS of leadership, and what is involved in creating an impact as an individual and a teammate to your season.

    Setting up structures to ensure a higher rate of success and the required commitment to action this, are identified as key foundation pieces for your journey as a leader. This section of the curriculum will be built on throughout each Rookie Me Academy player journey.

    GOAL SETTING

    The use of S.M.A.R.T criteria for goal setting has been set up to identify the intentions of our players, and to put the correct steps in place for them to chase these goals.

    TRADEMARKING

    This area is dedicated to exposing players to the idea of identifying personal trademarks, and looking at ways to actively take ownership/responsibility of our actions to improve leadership. The progression of this process includes team trademarking, where the collective group works together to help group success.

  • Personal Leadership

    As each player is different, and our impact as a leader can vary, the development of your own individual leadership is definitely a powerful addition to any team. Across the Youth Academy, athletes will be exposed to Level 2 education on topics such as:

    • Identifying support networks.
    • Dealing with adversity.
    • Choices and consequences.
    • Showing gratitude.
    • Building motivation.
    • Developing Individuality.

    In 2024, the focus of the Personal Leadership modules help players gain an understanding of the ‘now’ and actively reflect on the people and efforts going into your development. Also, to be aware of the choices that we make, and the many people around us that are impacted by those choices. These topics include:

    • Choices and consequences.
    • Showing gratitude.
  • Team Leadership

    Australian rules football is a team sport and requires faith and trust in others to achieve success. Across the Youth Academy, athletes will be exposed to Level 2 Education on topics such as:

    • Effective communication.
    • Giving and receiving feedback.
    • Teamwork makes the dream work.

    In 2024, the focus of the Team Leadership module will allow players to be proactive in giving and seeking feedback from their teammates and coaches. Being receptive to feedback, and to understand that if you are getting help from a coach or teammate, it means that person is eager to support you getting better. The module topic is:

    • Giving and receiving feedback.
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Experiences

  • High Quality Training Facilities

    Each camp is held at a high quality facility, with the program hosted at a variety of venues, where the facilities rival the standards of some AFL/VFL club environments. Each year we aim to have our camps spread across Melbourne to help accommodate the fact that everyone has to travel.

    Past venues include:

    • Camberwell Grammar, Camberwell
    • Penleigh and Essendon Grammar (PEGS), Keilor East
    • Wesley College, Glen Waverley
    • Geelong College, Geelong
    • Assumption College, Kilmore
    • Knox School, Wantirna South
    • La Trobe University, Bundoora
    • Casey Fields, Cranbourne
    • Point Cook FC, Point Cook
    • Highgate Recreation Reserve, Craigieburn

    VFL venues:

    • Williamstown FC
    • Essendon FC
    • Frankston FC
    • Box Hill FC
    • Sandringham FC
    • Collingwood FC

    AFL venues:

    • Collingwood FC
    • Essendon FC
    • St Kilda FC
    • Hawthorn FC
    • Carlton FC
    • Western Bulldogs FC.
    • Richmond FC
    • North Melbourne FC
  • Special Guests
    Module experts
    • Module experts, their experience and knowledge reflects the curriculum (eg Olympians, Police and Fire Officers, recruiters).
    • Past and current AFL/W players.
    Past and current AFL/W players

    In alignment with what our focus education is for Football, Leadership and High Performance, the Youth Academy players hear from special guests, including module experts; and past and current AFL/W players. These guests share their stories and insights, and importantly what they were doing at the same age in order to reach their goals.

  • Carnival

    The carnival is the finale to the 2024 football program. *The Rookie Me Youth Academy players are divided into teams, allowing players/teammates to compete against one another at an elite venue. This is an opportunity for players to apply their knowledge and showcase the skills learned throughout the 2024 program in a match experience.

    For this age level, there is a unique opportunity for players to be selected to compete against other pathway programs. These players will be selected, based on their output in the program across the season.

    Please note: *Rookie Me intends on having this event at a high quality venue such as a VFL venue. Also, we intend to invite a group of players to come into this event and compete against our players, these are yet to be confirmed.

  • Mentoring

    Each player will have access to our coaches for advice and mentoring, throughout the year. We are committed to impact every player, both on-and-off the field with constant communication and to engage in ‘footy chat’ via Rookie Me Connect.

     

  • Rookie Me Connect System (online)

    Rookie Me Connect is the online Rookie Me system.

    Each player will create a player profile, which holds his or her comparable data.

    The system allows Rookie Me Academy players to ascertain real-life benchmarks in elite performance. It is the foundation of creating goals to work towards. As players develop, they have the ability to compare their stats against fellow players of the same age, position and gender.

    Compare yourself against AFL stars like Pendles (Scott Pendlebury), Stephen Hill, Matty Kreuzer; and recent No.1 Draft Pick Andrew McGrath, whose stats are already on the system!

Schedule

*Dates and Venues subject to change

  • April 2024

    COMPLETE

    Parkville Stadium
  • July 2024

    Thursday 11th and Friday 12th July

    La Trobe Sports Park (Victoria)
  • September 2024

    Tuesday 24th and Wednesday 25th September

    La Trobe Sports Park (Victoria)
  • January 2025

    Tuesday 21st January

    La Trobe Sports Park (Victoria)

The Team

Learn From Industry Leaders

Our coaches and instructors bring in-depth experience and knowledge from the field and are committed to providing personalised feedback and support to help you gain confidence and unleash your potential.

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Coaches
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Strength and Conditioning
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Medical/Wellbeing
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Specialist Coaches
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Ready to embrace the opportunity?

Every step you take towards your goals, is one step closer to who you want to be in this world.