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AIS to part ways with AFL talent academy

Josh Kelly of Vic Metro in action during the 2013 NAB AFL U18 Championship match between Vic Metro and South Australia at Simonds Stadium on June 28, 2013. (Photo: Michael Willson/AFL Media)
Josh Kelly has shared the Ben Mitchell Medal with Lloyd Perris
THE AUSTRALIAN Institute of Sport's association with the AFL talent academy will cease at the end of this year, as the organsation focuses on Olympic success. 

It was announced on Monday the AIS' involvement would end, but the 2013/2014 intake will still hold the AIS-AFL Academy title. 

The AIS has sharpened its focus on the Olympic sports, signalled by the Australia's Winning Edge high performance strategy released last year targeting world-class results. 

But the AFL will continue with the important plank of its talent pathway, likely under the working title of the AFL National Academy, and will continue to receive funding for the program from the Australian Sports Commission. 

The AFL is keen to continue the close association it built with a number of staff at the AIS. 

Much of the essential elements of the Academy, such as training at elite facilities and an international tour each program, will remain.

Meanwhile, AIS-AFL Academy midfielders Josh Kelly and Lloyd Perris have won the Ben Mitchell Medal, the first time in the prestigious award's history it has been shared. 

Kelly, a smart and skillful Victorian, shapes as a top-five selection at the NAB AFL Draft, while Perris is a Sydney Swans scholarship holder who can be automatically listed by the club. 

Perris won the Cameron Ling Medal last year as a level one Academy member, and followed it by sharing the level two honour.

Mitchell, an academy member striving for the draft, died when he was 16 in a car accident in 2002. He was a part of the Academy's fifth intake. 

At the end of each Academy program, the 30 players are assigned a team value, such as courage, leadership and trust and vote on which teammate best embodies that trait. 

Essendon father-son recruit Joe Daniher won the medal last year. 

Follow AFL website reporter Callum Twomey on Twitter at @AFL_CalTwomey.