RICHMOND is starting to screen players - some as young as 11 - as part of the club's next generation academy program.

Sixteen youngsters, with indigenous and multicultural backgrounds, were invited to the Tigers' testing day at Punt Road Oval on Saturday.
The players ranging from 11-17 years of age, including Raman Winmar (whose mother's cousin is AFL great Nicky Winmar), were put through their paces in fitness and skills testing, and they received education on strength and mobility programs and dietary needs.

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Richmond's zone includes the Goulburn Murray, Bendigo, Sunraysia, and North Central areas of Victoria, with the club to identify, develop and nominate underrepresented players for drafting in its nominated region.

The Tigers hope they can develop future talent, and the academy program is designed to assist its talent-identification process.
Richmond football talent manager Dan Richardson said although it was still early days, the club was excited by the talent coming through the program.
"The Academy is firstly about participation and encouraging more kids, particularly indigenous and multicultural kids, to play the game," Richardson said.
"Then the flow on from that is there's talent outcomes for us, as well. We want to see these kids pull on a Richmond jumper at some stage, if they can."
Several of the participants were selected based on their performances at the club's 'Come and Try' talent days in Swan Hill and Shepparton in September.
Others came at the suggestion of their nominated TAC Cup clubs – the Murray Bushrangers and Bendigo Pioneers.
The Tigers have nominated exciting forward and Pioneers prospect Kayle Kirby as one of five players they will be able to automatically list as category B rookies this year under the new indigenous and multicultural academies, should he not be selected in the national or rookie drafts.
Along with the Draft Combine-style testing, including sprint, endurance and jumping tests, the players were given a tour of the club's facilities and received a physical competence screening.
The players will be tested again in January, which will give the Tigers a chance to monitor their progress against previous results.
Winmar, 16, who hails from Shepparton, said it was great to get a glimpse into what life would be like at an AFL club.
He hopes to one day follow in the footsteps of his famous 'uncle', Nicky, who played 251 games for the Saints and the Western Bulldogs.
"I look up to him and often think to myself, I would love to make it where he's made it," Winmar said.
Raman Winmar plays for the Rumbalara Football Club in the Murray Football League. The indigenous Australian football club is affiliated with the Rumbalara Aboriginal Co-Operative.
Winmar even got the opportunity to play senior football at Rumbulara in 2016, which is captain/coached by former Essendon player Nathan Lovett-Murray.
Winmar, who has also shown talent in basketball, said playing senior football was a great chance for him to prove himself.
"I was a bit nervous at first but the older boys told me to keep my head up and that helped me get on with it," Winmar said.
Sudanese-born Richmond rookie Mabior Chol, who was a member of the Brisbane Lions academy before joining the Tigers with pick No.30 in last year's rookie draft, said the program would be invaluable for the young players.
"What I did with the Lions' academy helped me a lot with my knowledge of the game and it gave me more opportunity to be who I am right now," Chol said.
"The Tigers' Academy is a good opportunity for these boys to develop and by having one-on-one coaching available that will help them a lot too."