NAB Rising Star Program Launched
Every AFL player listed by the 18 AFL clubs this season have taken part in a key element of the NAB AFL Rising Stars Program, including new NSW and ACT recruits like Lloyd Perris, Jake Barrett, and Max King, and NSW youngster Zac Williams (pictured) who earned a Rising Star nomination for his efforts against Melbourne in Round 19 last year.
77 per cent of this year’s players have taken part in the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships before reaching the AFL and a quarter are graduates of the AFL National Academies (formerly known as AIS-AFL Academies).
Speaking at the launch on the Gold Coast, Mr Demetriou announced changes to the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships. Division One teams (Vic Metro, Vic Country, South Australia and Western Australia) will now play each other twice in a home and away style format. Division Two teams (Queensland, NSW-ACT, Tasmania and Northern Territory) will play each other once allowing for players to play more matches in the TAC Cup. A representative Division Two “Rising Stars” team will also play the AFL National Academy (Level 2) team during Grand Final week.
The NAB AFL Rising Stars Program is the AFL’s talent identification and development program that provides young footballers with a clear pathway to playing at the elite level. The program also supports grassroots players and football communities throughout the country.
The National Australia Bank has proudly sponsored every element of the program since 2002.
The program annually involves more than 750 players aged between 15 to 21 years and consists of the following elements:
• The NAB AFL Rising Star
• NAB AFL Draft
• NAB AFL Draft Combine
• NAB AFL Under-18 Championships
• AFL National Academies
• NAB AFL Under-16 Championships
The NAB AFL Rising Stars Program is active throughout the year. Highlights include:
January AFL National Academy Level 1 New Zealand tour
March AFL National Academy Level 2 European tour
NAB AFL Rising Star weekly nominations commence
May NAB AFL Under-18 Championships commence
July NAB AFL Under-16 Championships
September NAB AFL Rising Star is announced
October NAB AFL Draft Combine
November NAB AFL Draft