For­mer Goul­burn Val­ley player/coach on board with academy

Shepparton News - - SPORT -

‘‘We’re very lucky to have Ann Austin on board as coach,’’ AFL GM net­ball ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cer Peita Sleeth said.

‘‘(The academy) is ab­so­lutely a great step for the re­gion.

‘‘We hope to run it very sim­i­lar to how the foot­ball academy runs. Hope­fully we can de­velop the play­ers, but also the coaches so they can take what they learn back to their club.

‘‘You can teach play­ers, but if you teach coaches as well they can spread that in­for­ma­tion fur­ther.’’

In the first year of the new elite net­ball devel­op­ment ini­tia­tive, a spe­cial­ist 12-week pro­gram will run for 12 and 13-year-olds.

The pro­gram in­cludes ed­u­ca­tional ses­sions, as well as fo­cus on skill devel­op­ment, game sense, re­cov­ery and strength and con­di­tion­ing.

The aims of the academy are on AFL GM’s web­site and in­clude: pro­vid­ing a qual­ity base of player devel­op­ment to com­ple­ment ex­ist­ing net­ball or­gan­i­sa­tions; in­creas­ing the depth of tal­ent in the re­gion’s net­ball ranks; in­flu­enc­ing the be­hav­iour and val­ues of young play­ers through high qual­ity train­ing; and plac­ing an em­pha­sis on the per­sonal devel­op­ment of re­gional net­ball coaches.

A sim­i­lar ini­tia­tive has been in place in AFL Cen­tral Vic­to­ria since 2016.

‘‘We hope to start small and get big­ger and big­ger,’’ Sleeth said.

‘‘We only an­nounced it (Thurs­day) and we’ve had a lot of in­ter­est in the past 24 hours.

‘‘We’ll be try­ing to build the play­ers up to­wards what is re­quired to play high-level net­ball.’’

Nom­i­na­tions to join the academy will be taken un­til Novem­ber 2, with up to 40 net­ballers set to be in­volved in the first pro­gram next year across both age groups.

The academy is an­other step in the right di­rec­tion for net­ball in the re­gion af­ter the in­au­gu­ral sea­son of Goul­burn Val­ley League 15-and-un­der net­ball pro­vided plenty of pos­i­tives this year.

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