SMJFL players attend Saints Next Generation Academy New Talent Combine

A strong contingent of South Metro Junior Football League (SMJFL) players headed to RSEA Park last Wednesday, where they attended St Kilda FC’s Saints Next Generation Academy (NGA) New Talent Combine.

Aimed at the attraction, retention and development of talented players, the New Talent Combine testing day is designed to act as a talent identification platform, where the Academy can discover new talent, both male and female, within their local region. A key objective of the NGA is to increase the talent pool of multicultural and indigenous players, so participants of the New Talent Combine who fit the cultural criteria have the potential of being drafted by St Kilda Football Club under the NGA Draft Concession system.

This was a free opportunity for players to develop and test their skills, and provide multicultural and indigenous players with a clear AFL pathway.

The day included local players aged 12-17, who were required to participate in athletic testing, worked on skill development under the guidance of academy coaches, and incorporated an AFL 9’s match played under the watchful eyes of Saints Scouts.

SMJFL Business Operations Manager Toby Boyle was thrilled with the opportunities provided to players through the community football partnership with St Kilda.

“It was great to see so many SMJFL clubs represented at the Combine,” he said.

“Our strong community connection with the Saints provides this opportunity for multicultural and indigenous players to display their talent and participate in a program that could lead to being drafted by St Kilda in the future.”

We are excited that our partnership with St Kilda enables us to provide so many opportunities and pathways for our multicultural and indigenous talent.

For more information on the Combine, or Saints NGA please email nextgeneration@saints.com.au