Its in a senior club’s best interest to invest in player transition to ensure the next generation of football players come to their club.
What can the senior club do to assist Auskick?
- Arrange for senior players to attend the local Auskick Centre and assist in coaching / umpiring (wearing senior club shirt)
- Arrange for NAB AFL Auskick kids from the local junior club to play at half time of your senior club’s league match, with a BBQ / event for players and parents
What can the senior club do to assist Under 9’s to 12’s?
- Assist the junior club at local junior registration days
- Provide players or people to support the efforts of the junior clubs in recruiting junior players
- Senior players to volunteer a few hours during the season e.g. operate the BBQ at key events
What can the senior club do to assist Under 13’s to 16’s?
- Hold BBQ’s for the junior players after training
- Provide players to conduct training sessions for junior team
- Invite junior players to senior club matches
What can the senior club do to assist Under 16’s to 18’s?
- Actively look to provide a player/ex-player to coach the Under 16’s junior team (someone who is positive role model)
- Establish regular communication with Under 16’s and 18’s players, such as letters at the start of the season (wishing them all the best for the season ahead), middle (touching base and inviting them to a senior club event – with no alcohol) and end of their season (congratulating them on the end of the season and giving them further details about your club and the following season)
- Invite the Under 16’s to 18’s to train with the senior squad on occasion
- Have the senior club league coach provide support to the Under 16’s and 18’s coaches and take sessions with the junior players
- Hold a parent information session with the parents of the Under 16’s and 18’s parents to give them info about the senior club and so they can ask any questions
- Include all Under 16’s / 18’s players from local junior clubs on a mail out / email database for all club newsletters (seek permission from players and include an unsubscribe option)
- Invite all Under 16’s / 18’s and their parents to a senior club game and incorporate a club lunch for the attendees
- Establish a pre-season timeline to distribute to all Under 16’s/18’s players at the end of their season - don’t wait until pre-season commences!
What can the senior club do to assist junior clubs in general?
- Appoint a Junior Club Liaison Officer and offer a senior club representative to sit on the junior club committee
- Invite a junior representative to sit on the senior club committee
- Explore an induction process or youth player camp
- Implement a player welfare program to ensure the players feel welcome at the club once they arrive
- Implement a mentor program (player buddy system) – whereby current senior players ‘buddy up’ with a youth player. The senior player may train with his buddy a couple of times throughout the year and watch each other play throughout the year
- Senior clubs need to present a professional image that junior players and their families want to be a part of include:
- Appropriate coaching
- Professional look and standards at training
- Ensuring that the club rooms and its surroundings are kept presentable and not impacted from anti-social behaviour.
- Create a positive image and environment at the club that will welcome younger players. This is particularly relevant if you share a ground with a junior club.
A Memorandum of Understanding between a senior and junior club will also help maintain a working relationship and aid player transition.