AFL South Africa’s Talent Pathway – ‘footyWILD Tracks’ - is an exciting development avenue which provides grass-roots footyWILD players with the opportunity to represent their Region, their Province and possibly even their country.
Youngsters, as young as 8 years of age, who are introduced to footyWILD BIG 5 through their local footyWILD centre, can now see a clear pathway which takes them through the school-based competition stages of footyWILD Game Day (Primary school) and footyWILD High (Secondary school) before arriving at footyWILD Extreme (Open age competition).
Once players reach footyWILD High (14 years) they are ready to be identified in to the Talent Pathway if performance warrants consideration. Each Province conducts a series of representative events which result in the selection of Provincial teams to compete at AFLSA’s Annual footyWILD National Championships.
1. Regional footyWILD Championships – a representative team of each footyWILD centre at High School and Open age level competes against another footyWILD centre to select a Regional team to compete at the Provincial Championships
2. Provincial footyWILD Championships – the Regional footyWILD teams come together to play against each other for Provincial honours with a Provincial team at both High and Extreme level selected from this event to compete at the Nationals
This process culminates in the National footyWILD Championships which feature Provincial representative teams from the North West, Gauteng, Kwa Zulu Natal and the Western Cape.
In July 2008, the inaugural AFLSA footyWILD National Championships were held in the North West, the spiritual home of AFL in South Africa since 1997.
The final stage in the Talent Pathway is the opportunity to be selected to represent South Africa at either Open age level or Under 19 level. The South African Lions compete at the International Cup against other countries from around the world every three years. The Lions also compete against visiting Australian teams including the AIS/AFL Academy and the AFL Indigenous Youth team. The South African Lions are chosen as a result of performances at the annual footyWILD National Championships.
The South African Under 19 team plays against the AFL’s Indigenous Youth team both in South Africa and in Australia, on an alternating tour schedule.
AFL South Africa conduct Talented Player camps periodically throughout the year to help identify talent, conduct scientific testing in conjunction with High Performance institutions and improve skill levels for players aged 14 years and older.
The AFL has introduced strong incentives for AFL Clubs to invest time and effort in to development of the International Scholarships for players located overseas. Potentially an AFL Club can select up to 8 International rookies on their playing list opening the door for talented young players from South Africa to be chosen as a potential recruit.
Each AFL Club connected to South Africa is being encouraged to develop Talent Academies in their respective Province in an effort to identify International rookies.
For information on the 2008 footyWILD National Championships please click on the attached file