Background Ė Female Football Academy
The Female Football Academy for 2013 is aimed at 15-21 year old girls who have shown potential in leadership and skill development at club, school or representative level football.
In 2013, the Female Football Academy will be in its fifth year. In 2008 the Academy was directed at leaders within mainly Womenís League clubs to assist with the playerís personal development as well as their Clubís development with knowledge learnt passed on.
It has been noted in the past that Youth Girls teams lose a lot of players after the age of 15 when the girls no longer had a competition to play in other than going directly into the Womenís League. In 2008, AFL Qld established a two team 16-a-side Under 18 Competition to try and combat this deficit in the football pathway for girls. This has grown to four teams in 2012 with three other clubs hoping to enter the Brisbane Juniors competition in 2013.
To encourage girls of this age group to continue with their football, the Academy will provide girls with the opportunity to further their football development on and off the field through regular training sessions and lectures. These training sessions are designed to teach the girls more position specific skills which then can be taken back to their clubs and incorporated into their general club training. Lectures will provide the girls with important information on nutrition and diet, fitness and other life skills.
The Academy squad is coached by both Brisbane Lions & Gold Coast Suns Academy coaches to ensure the girls development is professional and informed as well as being specific for their development age group.
Prominent Brisbane radio personality Kelly Higgins-Devine has again taken up the role in 2013 as the Ambassador of the Female Football Academy.
The self proclaimed Lions fanatic has grown up around AFL with her Dad playing senior football in Bendigo and Uncle Kevin playing over 150 games for Geelong and Fitzroy.
Unlike the girls in the academy, Kelly was never given the chance to play football growing up and is impressed with the pathway available for female AFL players.
"My sister tried to organise a game between two schools but it wasnít something that was really encouraged," she said.
"Itís a shame because it looks like a lot of fun. It would have been great to get out and have a kick."
With over 40,000 girls and women now playing AFL in Queensland, Kelly is thrilled to promote the game and be a positive role model for those involved.
"Itís very encouraging that there are girls out there playing football," Mrs Higgins-Devine said.
"Itís fantastic that they have an opportunity to play a sport that they love as well as being able to follow their career ambitions."
The academy assists in improving their chances of competing at a representative level (i.e. for Queensland) through development on and off the field.
For more information on how to be selected to be in the Academy please contact Julia Price at firstname.lastname@example.org