Junior Academy

The Beginning

The Junior Academy is the beginning of our players’ football journey. This is where we set the foundations for success, focusing on teaching the must-know fundamental areas of Australian rules football.

Players will participate in age-relevant and specific education, which focuses on the Rookie Me Academy subjects of high performance, leadership and skills.

Our coaches educate players, while still encouraging fun and enjoyment, as it is crucial to understand all aspects of football both on-and-off the field. The curriculum covered in the Junior program, ultimately may have the biggest impact on their football development and lives.

Unique experiences

Gear and Merchandise

Currently not included*

Performance Testing

Online access anytime

Mentor support

School holiday program

2 Camps (2 x days in Sept and 1 x day in Jan). Gear and Merchandise not included.

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Skill and Technique

  • Skill Development
    Fundamental Skills

    Players learn the fundamental skills of the game, which includes:

    • Ball-handling.
    • Handballing.
    • Kicking.

    At Junior level, it is critical to develop a strong foundation and understand the execution of important skills of the game. As players develop with age, it is important to continually develop knowledge and skills

    KEY activities:  FUNdamental 550 and Kicking School

    Junior Level – Key Focus

    Repetition and grasping the simple elements of the game.

  • Game Sense
    Phases of the game

    Learning to read the game of Australian rules football and understand the ways, in which you can impact in any situation.
    At the Junior age level the coaches will detail the three phases of the game, and train the important area of how we look to use the ball when we have control of it.

    Positional education

    As a modern-day footballer it is important to be flexible and learn multiple playing positions. The Rookie Me Junior Academy players are introduced to the on-field positions in Australian rules football throughout the program’s duration. This provides a basic understanding of what is required to play different roles on the field.

    Game Situation

    A variety of different games are designed for the players, which emphasises the education being taught in the Rookie Me Academy classroom and in the training sessions.

  • Combat Skills

    The game of Australian rules football is a physical contest. Therefore; learning the correct techniques for some of the most common skills required, is of the highest importance for both safety and impact on a game. It is to ensure the player's ability to care for their wellbeing and that of others in a game situation.

    Welcome to the battle
    • Tackling.
    • Repeat efforts.
    • Fending off.
    • Contests (ground and air).
    • 1%er - shepherding (blocking/bumping), smothering.
  • Recognised Training Activities and Coaching Techniques

    The experience of the Rookie Me Academy coaches spans from junior development, through to AFL level. Based on their extensive knowledge and expertise, they have designed specific training activities and techniques, to meet the needs of our Rookie Me Junior Academy players.

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High Performance

  • Conditioning
    The RM Warmup – Prepare to perform

    The program assists with key elements of physical development, the understanding of critical movements and gaining a strong physical base to build upon and help prevent future injuries.

    It is critical to allow player's bodies to grow and develop naturally. Our coaches focus on methods, which emphasise the importance of ‘preparing to perform.’

  • Performance Testing

    Players are introduced to regulated physical combine testing at the beginning of the Academy. This is the exact testing we conduct at the AFL National and State Combines.

    It is important to educate each player on technique when performing the official AFL combine testing battery. This provides a level of insight into the experience; and creates benchmarks for what players need to aim for.

    Rookie Me Academy players have the additional opportunity to attend all Rookie Me Testing events, which are public testing events conducted outside the Rookie Me Academy program. Providing the opportunity to re-test throughout the year. Rookie Me is also the Official Talent ID Partner of the AFL; therefore, understanding the requirements and technique players require to obtain optimum results.

  • Recovery

    A variety of recovery strategies are undertaken at the Rookie Me Junior Academy level, which include:

    • Stretching; and
    • Water-based recovery.

    *The team is focused on creating regular opportunities for players to be educated on the importance of recovery. By introducing a recovery-specific session during each camp (on the school holidays). This ultimately increases the sentiment, ‘a healthy mind and body - stems from a strong physical body’.


  • Nutrition
    Healthy Options
    Our coaches introduce food choices to the Rookie Me Junior Academy players to contribute to healthier lifestyle choices. These are simplified into everyday habits with food consumption; including packing a lunch box, preparing a snack and superior meal choices both at home and when at cafes/restaurants. This establishes good eating habits from a young age, with the understanding on how to sustain long-term health.
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  • Ignite Leadership

    The team prioritises personal development and growth of self-worth, this is an important theme throughout the curriculum – providing the chance for every player in the Junior, Pro, Elite and Women's programs, to IGNITE their leadership qualities and impact the group.

    Learning to be a better leader can be difficult in some cases, it is about having an opportunity… to speak up and communicate, or the chance to answer a question, or work through a problem in a group. These scenarios help ignite leadership within players.

  • Team Leadership
    Attitude Is Everything.

    At junior level, we focus on exploring our attitude, by identifying the key behaviours and actions which can impact your life, both on and off the field.

    These behaviours and actions are encouraged regularly throughout the camps and will be a strong part of the Rookie Me program.

  • Goal Setting

    Goal setting is designed to find moments of opportunity in our weekly schedule and help commit to small changes.

    Looking at areas such as:

    • On-field.
    • Off-field.
    • At home.
    • At school.
    • In the community.
  • Personal Development
    Youth Topics

    Throughout the Rookie Me Academy journey; each player is challenged, to step outside his or her comfort-zone – and listen to a range of guest speakers addressing issues, which young players may face, as they mature.

    Former Rookie Me Academy players re-visit our Rookie Me Junior Academy players, as guests to pay it forward, by sharing key knowledge and experiences they have learned from their own Rookie Me Academy journey. Guest speakers highlight the elements, which have helped them succeed in life (not exclusive to football).

    Examples of previous Rookie Me Academy players include:

    • TAC Cup Leaders;
    • VFL players;
    • AFL draft picks;
    • Victorian Police Officers; and
    • Paralympic athletes.
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  • High quality training facilities

    Each camp is held at a high quality facility, with the program hosted at varied private schools, where the facilities rival the standards of some AFL club environments.

    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.

    VFL venues:

    • Williamstown FC.
    • Essendon FC.
    • Frankston FC.
    • Box Hill FC.

    *Please note: This experience may be altered in the 2022 program due to COVID 19, we anticipate using one quality venue to assure safety and reliability. It is our priority to ensure that we are able to secure and confidently operate events throughout this program.

  • State-level club (VFL)
    The Rookie Me Junior Academy players are exposed to the elite environment of a VFL club.

    This provides insight into the professionalism of state-level football and the quality of facilities, venues and grounds available.

    *Please note: This experience may be altered in the 2022 program due to COVID 19, we anticipate using one quality venue to assure safety and reliability. It is our priority to ensure that we are able to secure and confidently operate events throughout this program.

  • Special Guests

    Hear from special guests, including past and current sporting legends, who share their stories and insights.

    Listening to their personal journey is a great learning experience, for any young player. They have the chance to understand what these mentors were doing at the same age (as the Rookie Me Academy players) in order to reach their goals.

  • Carnival*
    The carnival is the finale to the program. The Rookie Me Junior Academy players are divided into teams, allowing players/teammates to compete against one another. This is where players are able to apply their knowledge and the skills learned throughout the Rookie Me Academy camps in a match environment.

    *Please note: This experience may be altered in the 2022 program due to COVID 19, as the program is condensed, we aim to utilise the time to focus on completing all important education.
  • Rookie Me Academy 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 (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!


*Date and Venue subject to change

  • April 2023

    Tuesday 18th & Wednesday 19th April

    Casey Fields Sports Complex
  • July 2023

    Tuesday 4th & Wednesday 5th July

    RAMS Arena, Craigieburn VIC
  • September 2023*

    Monday 18th & Tuesday 19th September

    La Trobe Sports Park, Bundoora, VIC
  • January 2024

    Monday 22nd January

    La Trobe Sports Park, Bundoora, VIC

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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Strength and Conditioning
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Specialist Coaches

Flexible Payment

We understand everyones different, and so are their preferred ways to pay – which is why we’re flexible with payments. Pay in full today or utilise our payment plan option, so you can learn now at small upfront cost, then pay back in manageable monthly instalments.

Payment Plan

Split into equal monthly payments

One Time Payment

Pay upfront and save

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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.