The Hyundai Help for Kids Lions Academy started in 2010 with a bag of footballs and a laptop. In the years since it has morphed into a talent factory, producing some of the AFL and AFLW’s most exciting talent.
The Academy was formed in 2010 when the AFL partnered with four Northern Market AFL Clubs to introduce academies in Queensland and New South Wales and ACT.
The program was designed to provide the Brisbane Lions an opportunity to produce and retain high end talent, which would then help long term on-field success for the football Club. It would also help grow the game of AFL in Queensland and create an active connection to the communities within the Lions zone. Fans could then endear themselves to the Lions through Academy success stories of home-grown talent.
For players in Queensland, it provided a clear, compelling pathway from footy to potentially being drafted onto the Lions list. It also gave them elite training and access to highly qualified coaches, wellbeing, conditioning and medical staff, as well as AFL standard facilities.
With the impacts of COVID-19, AFL Talent nationally changed its TALENT PATHWAY age groups from Under 18 & Under 16 to Under 19 & Under 17. These age group changes are for Talent programs only, there is no change to Club Football age groups.
The Level 3 (Under 19) squad announcement has been made and in that squad, there were some boys and girls turning 17 in 2021 invited - this is a new concept for the Academy moving forward as a part of the restructured program.
The Level 3 squad will start training in December, and continue into the new year.
As for the Level 2 (Under 17) program, commencement will be early February, with a boys and girls squad being invited early January. As well as the players named in the Level 3 program a new group will be invited to be a part of the Level 2 program. We will invite some 15-year-olds to be a part of the Level 2 (Under 17) program also.
An update for players aged 12-15 will be provided in the New Year.
In the meantime, should you have any questions please contact your relevant BLA Regional Manager.
Sunshine Coast-Wide Bay; Dayne Frew, email@example.com, 0424 194 236.
Brisbane North; Scott Pyle, firstname.lastname@example.org, 0414 676 081.
Brisbane South-Darling Downs; Stephen Wearne, email@example.com, 0409 655 480.