Melbourne Football Club Girls Academy Program
Over four weeks in September, academy coordinators – and AFLW players – Bianca Jakobsson and Kat Smith hosted the Melbourne Girls Academy program.
The program saw Jakobsson and Smith work with a group of 53 girls on advanced footy disposal techniques, while Sport and Life Training (SALT) ran sessions focussed on the girls’ personal growth.
On day one, the group received their New Balance gear, met the coaches and got to know other participants; before sitting with SALT for a session on empowering women.
On-field, Jakobsson and Smith saw the girls improve vastly in key areas, including handballing, kicking and ground ball techniques.
In the last two weeks of the program, the focus shifted towards kicking techniques.
Players were challenged to vary their kicking styles and developed the confidence to deploy these strategies in high-pressure match situations.
The final session involved an off-field development session, based around the Academy core values of Relationships, Development, Enjoyment and Learning.
The development session allowed the girls to create definition and actions around the values, to be able to own and relate to them.
Additionally, this session challenged the girls to think out of the box and break out of their comfort zone in a safe environment by sharing ideas with the group.
To celebrate the end of the first academy block, the Melbourne Girls Academy played practice matches against each other, as well as the St Kilda FC Next Generation Academy.
The day was a great showcase of the talent, teamwork and passion.
Congratulations to the girls listed below on being a part of the first inaugural Melbourne Academy Girls Program.