Forest Junior AFL is excited to let all girls know that they can now be registering to play AFL with the Club in 2018.
AFL is a great sport offering a unique mix of athleticism and ball skills along with the social and team work aspects that make it so much fun. Girls of all skill levels can get involved with coaching staff able to accommodate a range of skills and abilities.
Girls AFL continues to grow across Australia, across Greater Sydney and especially up our way in the Forest and Northern Beaches area, with more and more registrations across all the junior age groups. NSW/ACT AFL has decided there will be four female age divisions in 2018:
• Under 10's
• Under 12's
• Under 15's
• Under 18's
Forest AFL will be fielding at least one stand alone team in each age group, including U18's, for the 2018 season (as will Pittwater).
Players are encouraged to re-register with the Club of their choice, if they haven't already done so, and actively recruit other girls from their local area to do the same. Recruiting can be done by all involved from coaches, managers, parents but in particular existing players as this seems to be the best way to get girls to come down to give AFL a try. Recruiting older girls can be a bit challenging with many either no longer playing sport or already playing several sports and time poor to try AFL.
Some interested girls have parents that are concerned by tackling or the time commitment. The tackling is easy to explain once the girls come down and experience it. The time commitment can be accommodated by recognising not all older girls will be able to get to every training, every week although that is very much the preference to help lift skills and build a sense of belonging and teamwork. I encourage you to all give recruitment a go in the next few weeks.
Girls in the Forest aged between 9 to 18 have the opportunity to "get in on the Ground Floor", at an exciting time in the development of Girls AFL in our region, with a clear pathway to a national competition for any girls that want to take their sport as far as possible.
The cost of girls registrations for 2018 is $100 per player. Details for the NSW Government's Active Kids voucher, for each school-aged child (K-12) to the value of $100 to be used to subsidise sporting club registrations, is also on our website.
Forest AFL offers a great environment for any school-age players, boys or girls, looking to play AFL, recently becoming a focal point for girls looking to play the code in our part of Sydney.
Facilities: Lionel Watts Reserve on Blackbutts Road in Frenchs Forest has been our home for over 40 years and is about to be transformed, at the end of the 2018 season, into an all-weather surface, by the Northern Beaches Council.
Forest AFL has access to Lionel Watts Reserve for training every week of the season and for hosting our Home games, every second week.
Refer to the Training section for more information on days and times.
This approach will give a real female presence at the Club and highlight this to the wider community, while also offering more flexibility around training schedules/exercises tailored for girls, with a platform for transition and development through the pathway to playing senior football and even AFLW for those that want to realise their dreams.
In addition to Lionel Watts, Forest AFL has access to an existing all-weather facility at Melwood Oval on Monday evenings from 6.00-7.00pm for a light recovery session focused on skills development for those that can make it along.
For those that are super keen, Forest AFL is partnering with NSW/ACT AFL to host trials for selection into one of 12 newly formed Female Talent Pathway academies (ours is named Sydney North) at Lionel Watts Reserve, on Monday 26th February and Monday 5th March from 6.00-8.00pm.
This is for girls born 2002, 2003 or 2004. An academy of 25 girls will be selected following the second trial with the academy program commencing on March 19th, sharing half the Club's ground allocation to Melwood Oval each Monday night.
Sydney North Academy Trials
Dates: Monday 26th February & Monday 5th March
Time: 6.00-8.00pm, looking to start at 6pm so please arrive a bit earlier
Format: Games with a skill warm-up to start
What to Bring: Mouthguard, Drink Bottle, Boots, Runners, training attire.
Consistent with helping the girls, new and old to AFL, ahead of the upcoming season, Forest AFL is fortunate to have struck an agreement with our neighbour, Energize Health Club adjacent to Glen Street Theatre, to offer some pre-season strength and conditioning sessions, just for the U18 girls, on a Wednesday evening, starting Wednesday 21st February.
These will be led by Mitchell Woods, a Performance Coach and personal trainer at Energize. Mitch has 10 years experience working within elite and developmental sport including the Manly Sea Eagles, Cronulla Sharks, the AIS, Cricket NSW, the University of Kentucky, Tennis Australia and the Sydney Swans. He completed a Bachelor of Human Movement at UTS, graduating with Honours. He received a high distinction for his honours thesis on "Improving Jump Performance In Elite Australian Rules Footballers", completed in parallel to his internship at the Sydney Swans in a strength and power coaching role. Very cool stuff, especially for those that want to work on something extra for this AFL season!
While the Strength and Conditioning sessions on Wednesdays are only for those already registered, Forest AFL is happy to offer any girls the chance to try AFL, on a no obligation basis for the first few weeks at Summer Skills on Sundays. Once the girls experience AFL first hand and see how much fun it is, we have a better shot at getting them to commit to the rest of the season.
The 2018 Greater Sydney Junior AFL season starts on Sunday April 8th, concluding with Finals in early to mid August, with a few breaks throughout, for school holidays. More information will follow in coming weeks.