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AFL England Player Pathway
Head of Performance, Jason Hill, has released the player pathway for players within England. This is a guide for players who are looking to push their talent through representation at different levels of the pathway. Below the infographic is more information about each of the steps
Step 1 – Club: Here is where the majority of players will sit. Information about clubs within your area can be found on the Regional League drop down menu. Each of the leagues (AFL London, AFL CNE, AFL Southern and AFRL Wales) run to services players from their regions and more information can be found on the website of each league. For Scotland this is run by AFL Scotland . Note: Players without British Citizenship are eligible to play at this step.
Step 2 – Representative: The next step on the ladder is the representative teams run by the leagues. Here players will be invited to play for the league in exhibition matches or at tournaments such as AFL London Pre-Season Cup. Note: Players without British Citizenship are eligible to play at this step.
Step 3 – National Teams: This is the first step on the ladder where player eligibility becomes a question. To be eligible for the Dragonslayers (Men’s) or the Vixens (Women’s) you will need to have English Citizenship and have been living within the British Isles between the ages of 10 and 16. If you sit outside of this criteria but believe you have a case to represent England please get in touch with us on email@example.com. All players who want to compete at this level are invited to come to open trials which are held each year. The England teams compete at the AFL Europe Euro Cup competitions which are played as 9-a-side.
Step 4 – Great Britain: This is the highest accolade within the British Isles for Australian Rules Football representation. The Great Britain sides (Bulldogs – Men, Swans – Women) sit as a representative system outside of AFL England, AFL Scotland and AFRL Wales but bring together the best players from across the nation to compete at 18-a-side level. To be eligible for the Great Britain sides you must be a British citizen and have lived within the British Isles between the ages of 10 and 16. Players who want to compete at this level will be invited by the head coach, or one of their assistant coaches, to closed training sessions which happen on a regular basis. The GB sides compete at AFL Europe Championships, at the AFL International Cup and in friendly fixtures against other international sides.
Step 5 – AFL Europe Combine: Players of elite caliber will be invited to the AFL Europe Combine which brings prospects from across Europe to profile them athletically, mentally and analyse their skills. From a fitness testing prospective they are put through the 20m sprint, AFL agility, vertical leap, running vertical leap and beep test. The players will also put their problem solving skills to test their ability as they are scrutinised under pressure. Finally, the athletes will be put through full match simulation in order to evaluate their overall football capabilities. All of this testing and the entire event is overseen by Irish ex-Sydney Swans premiership player Tadhg Kennelly.