Create history as part of first Blue Heelers program

Get excited people! Here’s your chance to be involved in the region’s first ever North West Blue Heelers development program.

The program is for boys and girls aged 11 to 17 (i.e. born 2005 to 2011), with up to 100 places on offer. The primary focus of the program is on individual skill and game sense development where the aim is to assist each individual to become the best player they can be.

In another first for the region, the Blue Heelers program will provide opportunities for players wanting to go further in the game to be talent identified through the program’s partnership with the QBE Sydney Swans Academy.

Paul Taylor, Community Football Manager for AFL North West, can’t wait to see the Blue Heelers program get underway.

“We know we have a lot of really talented athletes of both genders playing in our competition who have had relatively little time in AFL. This program is designed to fast track their development, help them become the best footy player they can, and for those that want to go further, is the first step in the talented player pathway,” Taylor said.

“The Blue Heelers program also includes our North West representative teams, so the focus won’t just be on training. There will also be carnivals in both June and July that our players will get to attend as part of the rep teams so they’ll get to put what they’ve been learning into practice.”

Trials for the Blue Heelers development program will be held in Tamworth on Sunday 27 March, and in Armidale on Sunday 3 April (10:00am to 12:00pm in each location). Players need only attend one session, but those that choose to attend both will have double the opportunity to impress selectors. The trials are open to any player within the age groups that intends to play with an AFL North West club in the 2022 season.

“You only get one chance to be part of something for the first ever time so it’s really exciting to be involved from the start. The purpose of the Blue Heelers program is to help players reach their personal goals in footy, whether that be to play in top grade of the AFL North West competition or to make it all the way to the AFL or AFLW. It’s thrilling to think that we just might unearth the region’s next Sam Naismith to play in the AFL, or find more Alice Mitchells and Gabby Mooneys who are currently involved in the Summer Series with a chance to push for a place on an AFLW list.”

For further information on the program, including all dates and rep levy, please click here. Players wanting to nominate for selection need to complete the online form by clicking here.