AFL Victoria Development League
In season 2012, the Reserves competition of the Peter Jackson VFL is to become the ‘AFL Victoria Development League’.
The changes to the Reserves competition name will be combined with the introduction of a new AFL Victoria VFL Academy. The Academy will aim to better prepare the talent pool from the Peter Jackson VFL competition for AFL Clubs to consider, by providing additional development opportunities for up to 25 selected VFL players.
The changes are part of AFL Victoria plans to enhance thetalent development pathway for TAC Cup graduates and more mature age players striving to be recognised by AFL Club recruiters.
Recent draft results from the Peter Jackson VFL demonstrate that there are many development opportunities for players within the competition, with 16 VFL players* drafted or rookied at the 2011 NAB AFL Draft and Rookie Draft.
“We believe the introduction of the ‘AFL Victoria Development League’ will in time allow AFL and VFL Clubs the opportunity to better develop listed players in a higher standard competition that has an emphasis primarily on development – winning should be a by-product of a well managed and coached development program,” AFL Victoria General Manager Grant Williams said.
“Ultimately, the aim will be to enhance and grow the talented player pool in Victoria.”
The AFL Victoria VFL Academy program will provide the players involved with additional development experiences to the high quality programs already offered at Peter Jackson VFL Clubs.
“The introduction of the AFL Victoria VFL Academy will expose the players involved to the current AFL Victoria Academy practices, philosophy and resources.
“It should be noted that 12 of the 16 players drafted/rookied from the Peter Jackson VFL at the end of 2011 are new players to the AFL competition – following on from the 8 of 11 new players selected by AFL Clubs at the end of 2010,” Williams said.
“The goal is for these VFL players to be better prepared for their transition to an AFL Club environment and therefore more likely to succeed at that level.”
All Peter Jackson VFL Clubs will be able to nominate players for inclusion in the AFL Victoria VFL Academy. The Academy program will compliment VFL training programs and schedules, and will include participation in the VFL State Game (subject to selection) and the AFL Victoria Young Guns game in September 2012.
AFL Victoria will work with all Peter Jackson VFL Clubs to support the introduction of the AFL Victoria Development League and it will also support the capacity of VFL Clubs to achieve broader game development objectives in their local communities.
“AFL Victoria would also like the introduction of the development league to encourage clubs to target additional investment in qualified development coaches and resources which will help improve the coaching pathway for talented coaches aspiring to VFL senior or AFL level in the future,” Williams said.
Four Peter Jackson VFL Senior coaches were appointed to AFL coaching roles at the end of 2011, with Paul Satterley (Werribee Tigers to Melbourne), Shannon Grant (Bendigo Bombers to Western Bulldogs), Brad Gotch (Casey Scorpions to Port Adelaide) and Dale Amos (Geelong VFL to Geelong AFL) all making the transition to assistant and development roles in the AFL for 2012.
The new AFL Victoria Development League will kick off on Saturday March 24 with 10 clubs (Box Hill Hawks, Casey Scorpions, Coburg Tigers, Frankston, North Ballarat, Northern Blues, Port Melbourne, Sandringham, Werribee Tigers and Williamstown) fielding teams in the competition. Efforts have been made to fixture the majority of Development League games prior to VFL Senior matches.
The fixture has now been released and is below.
The Peter Jackson VFL Senior fixture was released prior to Christmas, and is available HERE.