Norm Smith Medallist
- Oct 2, 2016
- AFL Club
I played junior footy in the 90s. Out of all the parents only my dad & the coach had played AFL before, all others had played soccer, league or rugby. I could never kick and between my dad & the coach they couldn't find a way to teach me how to kick no matter how much they repeated the same instruction. Never had the same issue playing soccer, plenty of parents were able to tell me how to improve, show me how to run into space and improve my kicking, heading, and tackling.Totally agree. The academies are NOT about Errol Gulden, but about the other several hundred kids in that year who do not play League footy.
The thing that doesn't get talked about re the academies is what I call statewide footy IQ.
Some years ago when I took my eldest son to Auskick, one of the dads was trying to teach handball. Good on him for volunteering but he had NFI whatsoever and told me he had never played the game. That would not happen in Victoria, where there are a gazillion dads who played the game at very high levels, teaching their kids. So, in Victoria there is a high footy IQ, with kids having access to good coaching at all levels.
That is not the case in NSW. The academy boys will become dads, and pass on that knowledge. So the standard of junior coaching in NSW will naturally improve. That means the skills of the kids will be better. That means that the number of kids talented enough to play League footy will increase.
Thus, the academies increase the general footy IQ of NSW, which means participation rates, as players and supporters will increase, and that can only be a good thing.
In the meantime, the Northern Academies provide the footy IQ that is not within the community. This is the fundamental point that Victorians don't seem to understand.