About the Club

The Forest Lions Junior AFL club was established in 1969 and in 2019, we celebrated our 50th season. We proudly continue to nurture the family friendly and community based club culture of the last 50 years. We boast one of the greatest retention rates of players across our region from Auskick through to U17s as our primary goal is for the kids to have fun and develop their AFL skills.

So what does the Forest Lions Junior AFL Club offer our local community?

Auskick – this is a well-structured introduction to AFL for boys and girls between U5s to U8s

Junior teams, U9 through to U17s – AFL football that is played with divisions to ensure safe, competitive and enjoyable football.

Expansion of Girls AFL – in 2019 the Forest Lions are proud to field a team in all available NSW AFL Youth Girls competitions. From 2019 to 2023 this covered U10, U12, U14, U16 and U18.  As of 2024, teams were aligned with the Junior boy teams – U9, U11, U13, U15 and U17s.

Structure changes focused on ensuring sustainable competitions that provide opportunities for all levels of playing ability and aspiration, while maintaining a focus on competitive balance. Along with a clear focus on increasing participation; via increased recruitment, transition, and retention of players at all levels.

The key rationale for changes in the Youth Girls structure includes:

• Strong majority support from junior clubs for this change to be implemented

• Preference from junior clubs to align male and female junior entry and transition points

• Reduce the gap between Auskick and entry into Junior football for female players

• Provides a consistent entry level for players exiting Auskick and/or Under 8’s regardless of gender

• Provides a consistent transition point for players into senior football

• Reduce the decline in transition from junior to senior football

• Support players and clubs via appropriate ages to enter and transition out of junior club environments

• Continue to ensure age gaps no more than two (2) years between age groups for female players

A Female Under 20’s competition will form the first underage women’s competition in AFL Sydney.   An underage women’s competition will ensure both male and female players can enter AFL Sydney Seniors and continue in underage competitions. Prior to this, that opportunity only existed for male players with female players required to enter senior open age competitions to continue their football pathway.

AFL Players Nights – during the 2024 season we will have some special nights when a selection of AFL players come down for a training session. It’s a great opportunity for the kids to get up close to the players and get an autograph and photo.

  Most importantly we are a family friendly club that proudly stands by a set of Visions and Values that defines what we stand for and deliver.

In 2012 and 2014 we were nominated and won the prestigious GSJAFL Club of the year award.  This award is scored by visiting clubs and umpires and is awarded for good player/officials & spectator conduct, good facilities, good professionalism and general good sportsmanship.

Forest Lions is the oldest AFL club on the northern beaches with a proud history of success, our most recent celebrations were our U18 YG Div 1 winning the 2022 Premiership and also being undefeated for the past 3 seasons. This success comes from early skills training, commitment to the team and the training that is needed to be a number one team.

In season 2022, 6 of our 11 eligible teams made the finals with 2 going all the way to the Grand Final.  Our teams are well looked after as all coaches are trained and accredited.  We apply a games based training style rather than rigorous drills and physical endurance tests as this type of training improves sharpness of mind and body agility.  Kids are rewarded for trying and not just success.

For more information contact our Club Presidents at president@forestafl.com.au.

You are always welcome to come along and try out for a while before you register.

Forest Junior AFL Club Origins

The Forest Junior AFL Club (Forest Lions) was formed in 1969 originally as the Forest Districts Australian Football Club Inc.

We are members of the strong Sydney Northside Junior AFL Competition and play against teams primarily from the North Shore and North West regions of Sydney.

Club Growth and Success

Forest Lions has and continues to be a successful club, with over 50 years of playing AFL on the Northern Beaches.

In 2001 & 2002 Forest was awarded the Northside Champion Club in recognition of the success of our teams and players. The club continues to be committed to developing each junior player.

In 2003, Forest was awarded the Northside Most Sportsmanlike Club, we continue to train the kids to be fair and respectful to other players.

In 2012 and 2014 Forest was nominated and won the prestigious Sydney Juniors Club of the Year award.

In 2019, with the amalgamation of the local councils, our home ground Lionel Watts was upgraded with new lights and a synthetic, all weather surface. A new building was built with new changerooms and storage area and an upstairs viewing platform. We also installed a large LED scoreboard at the North Eastern corner of the field. We have one of the best Junior AFL facilities in the State.

We continue to grow our player numbers each year, with a great retention rate and we pride ourselves on making the kids experience playing with the Forest Lions a great one.