Strategic plan released to shape future of local footy

AFL North Coast is pleased to release the final key recommendations of the strategic plan that will shape and drive the growth of footy within the region for the next three years.

The strategic plan was planned to be released at the start of this year but, like most things in 2020, was delayed whilst the impact of COVID on team and player numbers was assessed. The plan builds upon the feedback received from a survey sent to all members of AFL North Coast in late 2019 and has been developed with regular consultation and input from member clubs.

Paul Taylor, Community Football Manager, said the plan aims to build on the outstanding growth that has occurred in the past five years. “We’ve been in a really strong growth phase for the past five years and we want to make sure we keep things heading in the same direction.

“We can’t just focus on growing player, team, and club numbers, we also need to make sure we grow the number of volunteers to help at club level, the number of Umpires to officiate matches, and ensure that our culture is supportive, welcoming, and safe. This strategic plan shows everyone associated with local footy where we’re going over the next three years and gives them the chance to play their part in contributing to that growth.”

There are four key pillars within the plan, each of which is underpinned by a number of strategies:

  1. Pillar 1 – Participation
    • Strategy 1 – Implement Under 18 as the entry point to Senior footy, underpinned by two year age groups in Junior footy
    • Strategy 2 – Introduce Under 10 non-competitive age group to transition Auskickers into Junior footy
    • Strategy 3 – Introduce new girls only age groups to complete the pathway with two year age groups
    • Strategy 4 – Maintain traditional days of playing and retain flexible fixturing for clubs
    • Strategy 5 – Create competition models in both Senior and Junior footy that facilitate growth
    • Strategy 6 – Create exposure to AFL through a strong media presence
    • Strategy 7 – Create a ‘Schools Partnership Guide’ to help build stronger relationships between clubs and their local schools
  2. Pillar 2 – Volunteers
    • Strategy 1 – Develop a ‘Volunteer Co-ordinator Training Pack’ to help clubs better recruit, retain, and recognise volunteers
  3. Pillar 3 – Umpiring
    • Strategy 1 – Develop a model which focuses on recruitment, mentoring, and training
    • Strategy 2 – Reinforce zero tolerance for Umpire abuse
    • Strategy 3 – Prioritise the critically important role of Ground Manager to support Umpires on match day
  4. Pillar 4 – Culture
    • Strategy 1 – Provide education for clubs around culture
    • Strategy 2 – Conduct a ‘Pathways Round’ which focuses on initiatives that build the relationship between Junior and Senior clubs

Full detail on the key recommendations can be found here, including timeframes for implementation of each of the strategies.

We all have a part to play in bringing the plan to life and making sure we achieve our goals. How can you best contribute to local footy? Speak to your club for more info!