The four AFL clubs which compete in the NEAFL each run their own talent academy programs aimed at developing and nurturing home-grown talent into the AFL system.
The AFL Academy Programs recruit the best young athletes across Queensland and New South Wales from as young as 11 years of age and exposes the aspiring footballers to long-term development programs under the guidance of expert coaches and elite training techniques.
The Academy Programs are also successfully growing the national talent pool for the AFL, and all other clubs in the national competition have the opportunity to recruit graduates of the programs.
The participants of the academies will progress through their respective Queensland and New South Wales representative team pathways to compete in the NAB AFL Under-16 and Under-18 National Championships, and also have the opportunity to play senior football in the NEAFL competition for their affiliated AFL Reserves teams alongside senior-listed players.
Some notable graduates of the academies include Sydney’s Brandon Jack, Lloyd Peris, Sam Naismith and Isaac Heeney, who was a first-round draft selection by the Swans in the 2014 NAB AFL Draft.
Narrandera’s Zac Williams became the first Giants Academy graduate to play for GWS in 2013, earning a NAB AFL Rising Star nomination in Round 19, while Queenslander Jono Freeman was the first ever member of the Hyundai Lions Academy to debut for the club in Round 20, 2014.
Follow the links below to read more about the Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sydney and GWS Giants Academy programs.