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Saturday, June 06 2020 @ 07:40 pm ACST

Northern Territory punching above its weight in national talent stakes


This is a media release from the AFL Northern Territory sheds a new light on the importance of the Northern Territory to Australian Rules football nationally in terms of how many kids are making it through the talent pathways to AFL teams.

“AFL International and National Talent Manager Kevin ‘Shifter’ Sheehan has released some statistics which shows the Northern Territory is in the top three of AFL talent producers between 1997-2011.

“The NT has been a steady contributor to the AFL system over a number of years and these statistics put them in the top three behind Vic Metro and South Australia,” advised Sheehan.

The study conducted by Griffith University, has the Northern Territory producing on average 12.08 players per 1000 participants aged between 13 and 18 as compared to Vic Metro 14.13 and South Australia 12.35.

“When you break it down on comparison and based on population the Northern Territory are clearly doing the right things to foster and develop talent and with a little more refinement I think we can get that number higher.”

“If you look at 2012 the NT had three players drafted which is above the 2.5 average they have had between 1997-2011.”

Sheehan is in Darwin to conduct the AFL Talent ID Course which is the first of its kind and accredited with the AFL and Australian Sports Commission.

“The aim of the course is provide people at all levels of the game the tools to be able to identify talent and how they foster and develop that talent moving forward,”

“Everyone involved with AFL Footy at all levels has a certain level of responsibility to Talent ID in some capacity,”

“Talent ID is a science and it is almost like having a crystal ball and being futuristic in your thinking, for example what is this kid going to look like in three, four or five years time? Do they have that point of difference or ‘X-Factor’ that AFL Clubs are looking for?”

The Talent ID Course covers everything from spotting talent, testing combines, identifying, reporting and nurturing talent as well as going through the model for AFL Recruiting.

“We are running this course Australia wide as to provide the best opportunity to identify that next AFL Star, this will be the fourth we have conducted and we have many more to ensure we have the eyes and the ears on the ground spotting the next Jed Anderson, Jake Neade or Dom Barry.”

The future is bright for the Northern Territory advises Sheehan, “the processes currently being put in place and the infrastructure and development that is going to come from the Michael Long Learning and Leadership Centre will just add a little edge to the way the NT can unearth that next star.”

Kevin Sheehan, Peter Schwab (AFL Director of Coaching), Michael Ablett (Academies Development Manager) and Lawrie Woodman (AFL Coaching and Umpiring Manager) are in Darwin conducting a Level 2 Coaching Course along with the AFL Talent Identification Course on Friday 15 February.”

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