By AFLQ Media
AFL Queensland, in conjunction with the Brisbane Lions, are pleased to announce new changes to the structure of the Under 16 talent program in 2019.
The AFL Queensland Talent Department and the Hyundai Brisbane Lions Academy have worked together over the past several months to revamp the AFL Queensland and Under 16 Regional and Under 16 Academy programs into a new four phase program.
The changes come as a result of a concerted effort to streamline the training and coaching program to better ensure Under 16 males across the state are afforded the best development at all levels.
AFL Queensland State Manager- Talent and Academies, Mark Browning, welcomed the new changes to the Under 16 program and looks forward to working with the Brisbane Lions to deliver the program.
“With two AFL clubs in Queensland, we are determined to supply an increase in the number of boys capable of playing AFL football at the elite level,” Browning said.
“AFL Queensland and the Brisbane Lions understand the importance in developing and preparing players not only for AFL football, but for senior NEAFL, QAFL and community level competitions.”
“It is important that AFL Queensland fully maximise the expertise of the Brisbane Lions to ensure each player reaches his full potential with access to a very high-level development program.”
Under the new four phase program, the Brisbane Lions will be responsible for developing the overall coaching and training program with AFL Queensland regional offices responsible for the weekly program operations with coaching staff to be jointly appointed within their geographic academy zone.
In order to identify the best talent across the various regions at the commencement of the new program, trial days will be held in early November for any males turning 16-years-old in 2019. Details will be finalised soon.
The Gold Coast SUNS have also adjusted their Under 16 Academy Program with details to be announced soon.
Brisbane Lions Academy Zone
Phase One: Brisbane Lions Academy Regional Development Squads
The program commences with a selection process in November followed by an eight-week training and development program. Regional training bases will be located in Brisbane North, Brisbane South, Sunshine Coast and Darling Downs (note: there is a maximum 40 participants at each training base). This phase will culminate with the five regions competing in an AFLX tournament in early March 2019.
Phase Two: Brisbane Lions Academy Regional Teams
Following the first phase, three Brisbane Lions Academy Regional teams will be formed (Brisbane North, Brisbane South-Darling Downs and Sunshine Coast-Wide Bay). Each of the three teams will be represented by 23 players chosen from the AFLX tournament and will undergo further training and an intra-Academy match program in late March. The players selected in these teams will continue training with the Academy for the remainder of the year regardless of selection outcomes in phases three or four.
Phase Three: Brisbane Lions Academy Team
A Brisbane Lions Academy Team will be selected from the second phase of the program to play against a Gold Coast SUNS team in late April 2019. This will serve as selection for the Queensland Under 16 State Representative squad.
Phase Four: Queensland Under 16 State Representative Team
A squad will be selected from the Phase 3 Academy Match program to train on for a chance to represent Queensland in the NAB AFL Under 16 National Championships.