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The Hawthorn Next Generation Academy is a joint initiative between the AFL and the Hawthorn Football Club aimed at increasing opportunities for young athletes to learn about and play the game of Australian Rules Football. The programs place an emphasis on encouraging indigenous and multicultural athletes to be a part of the program. 

AFL clubs have been allocated areas throughout Australia to implement their Next Generation Academy programs. The Hawthorn Football Club is very excited to be working in the Gippsland Power Talent Zone(VIC), Eastern Ranges Talent zone (VIC) and the Katherine region. (NT)

The Hawthorn Next Generation Academy is divided into two parts.

Part one is for athletes aged between 11-15 years of age.

In the allocated areas, the Hawthorn Next Generation Academy conducts elite training programs for U/12’s, U/13’s, U/14’s and U/15’s.  These programs aim to educate athletes on football fundamental skills, football games sense, athletic development and living a healthy lifestyle.

Athletes are invited to attend these programs based on their performance in local league competitions, representative football or their efforts at Hawthorn Next Generation Academy come and try days.

Part two of the academy is for athletes aged 16 and above.

To be eligible to be involved in this part of the academy a player must meet the following requirements.

  • Involved in part one of the Hawthorn Next Generation Academy and
  • Be Indigenous or Torres Strait islander or
  • Be from Asian descent or
  • Be from African descent or
  • Both parents born in a culturally and linguistically diverse country (CALD)

Athletes are invited to be involved in this academy by the Hawthorn Football Club. Here they work individually with the Hawthorn Next Generation Academy coach to further advance their football.

The Hawthorn Football Club receive draft priority and draft concessions on all players involved in part two of the academy, should Hawthorn wish to draft them.

Katherine Region

The Hawthorn Next Generation Academy visited Katherine and its surrounding communities’ numerous times this year to run educational and football skills programs.

The Hawthorn Next Generation Academy will provide the Indigenous and Multicultural youth of the Katherine region with the opportunity to be involved in an elite talent pathway as opportunities in this area has been quite scarce.

There has been some great talent on display and the Hawthorn Football Club is excited to see the development of the Next Generation Academy in the area over the years.

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Students from Jilkminggan School participating in a Hawthorn NGA education and skills day in Jilkminggan.

Alastair Clarkson took the opportunity to visit students from Barunga School participating in the Hawthorn NGA education and skills day in Barunga.

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Students from Timber Creek School had an amazing experience meeting Clarko and participating in the Hawthorn NGA education and skills day in Timber Creek.

Eastern Ranges Talent Zone

The Hawthorn Next Generation Academy has worked closely with the Eastern Ranges several organisations in the Eastern Suburbs of Melbourne to provide Indigenous and Multicultural youth with the opportunity to participate in an elite talent pathway.

The Hawthorn Next Generation Academy has hosted several different ‘Come and Try’ Days for Indigenous and Multicultural youth and are very pleased with the talent on display.

Off the back of the ‘Come and Try’ Days, the Hawthorn Next Generation Academy has run football programs to assist the development of any elite talent.

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Head of Academy, Nathan Foley, with participants from the Eastern Ranges Talen Zone ‘Come and Try’ Day.

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Participants go through several testing stations such as the vertical jump test. 

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Hawthorn NGA staff member taking a group through some skills testing.

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Hawthorn Eastern Next Generation Academy group after a training session in the preseason.

Gippsland Power Talent Zone

The Hawthorn Next Generation Academy has a strong connection to the Gippsland Power and have been very impressed with the array of talent emerging from the Gippsland Region.

The Hawthorn Next Generation Academy has hosted ‘Come and Try’ Days for the local Indigenous and Multicultural Youth and continue to build relationships which will enable the Hawthorn Next Generation Academy to access the elite talent in the region.

Hawthorn Next Generation Academy has also assisted the development of the elite talent through football programs which aim to increase the level of talent within Multicultural and Indigenous communities in Gippsland.

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Hawthorn Gippsland Next Generation Academy at a come and try day in 2017.

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Head of Academy, Nathan Foley, with participants at a Gippsland NGA ‘Come and Try’ Day.

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Participants at the Hawthorn Gippsland Next Generation Academy day going through several fitness tests.