Academy hot prospect named in talent-stacked Allies squad
By - dazedjosh
Bloody GWS, stealing our IP
There are some areas around the Albury-Wodonga/Riverina region that are excluded, as they are rightly considered traditional footy heartlands. I think some parts of western NSW are also excluded as they have ties to SANFL programs, I could be wrong on that last part though.
But otherwise, yeah. The level of junior coaching is such that if kids want a viable pathway to the AFL, they have to go into the academies. Before the academies came along there was zero investment in junior coaching and it was very hit and miss. I say that as somebody who came up through junior programs in Sydney in the 90's. For example, it wasn't until I got to North Shore in my u18's season that I had a coach correct a massive, obvious, flaw in my kicking action that I'd had since u14's.
The junior coaching has improved out of sight since those bad days, and that is largely as a result of junior coaches getting advice from the club funded academies and taking them back to their respective clubs. These days there are a handful of clubs in both states that could be considered to be on the way to becoming regular producers of footy talent.
It will take years to get to that point. Elite coaching pathways in the traditional states have more than century headstart on the northern clubs. QLD and NSW have more than half of Australia's population, there is a lot of catching up to do. AFL is nowhere near the number 1 sport in either state.
In addition to that, the AFL would also actually need to fund the academies. The Swans have paid our own way the whole time at a little over a million a year since we started them. We've still run at a profit 8 out of the last 10 years, but if we don't have to pay for an academy then we turn a profit every year. An extra 15 million dollars that we could have thrown at a new training complex instead of our shitty current facilities. If the AFL decides to take away academy incentives without replacing the funding then the whole northern talent system collapses, as other sports will very happily step into the vacuum.
North Melbourne drafted ~60% of their players from the last 20 years from Victoria. Sydney/GWS/Brisbane/GC drafted about 10-20% including academies.
It's not unfair because it's a systemically different playing field for Victorian clubs compared to NSW/QLD ones.
If North misses out on the number 1 player, they take the 2nd-5th best player who is also Victorian. If Sydney missed out on the best NSW player, the next bet NSW player might literally no exist until the end of the draft or rookie draft.
It will take years for this to correct in any meaningful way
Lol... half an entire state. A state that by and large doesn’t develop footy players outside of the academies.
Averaging just over 2 per year thereabouts.
Nothing about what I said is semantics. Zoning is generally bad. It’s locks in bad recruiting areas (e.g. saints) and good recruiting areas (e.g. Hawks).
By the same token father son does similar.
But what is the benefit for the AFL? If it’s higher participation rates and a bigger player pool that eventually results in the end of academies then that’s good.
You’d get rid of Father-Son? If so fair enough.
IMO the draft will eventually be fair but to get there we have to make the game properly national. I would give Tasmania a zone (where players could nominate if they so chose) as well.
One of the reasons zoning ended was that it didn’t make sense. Few clubs retained an identity that was truly tied to geography and country zoning fucked the competition.
IMO the draft is good. It keeps alive junior clubs independent of AFL clubs. But in a place like Sydney/Brisbane/GC where these clubs are the ones doing the heavy lifting with the juniors and development pathways I think it creates the conditions that will in time develop more footy players out of athletes in QLD/NSW and that will strengthen the game and make more players (and coaches) for everyone.
I mean look at the hit to the comp GC & GWS were. But in terms of football we are starting to see the benefits of having them about even if it’s just the extra senior coaching jobs.
I mean does the AFL really care about fairness in the draft? academies, F/S, players saying they don't wanna leave their home state, Seems like the AFL just go along with whatever they can think of