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Next Academy program for Port Augusta

Natasha Wade  October 30, 2017 12:26 PM

The Adelaide Football Club will next week commence the second instalment of its Next Generation Academy (NGA) program in Port Augusta.

As part of the program more than 40 local up-and-coming footballers will take part in eight development sessions running across November and December.

Run in conjunction with NGA-aligned SANFL club North Adelaide, the sessions will be held at the recently developed Central Oval – Port Augusta's new $16 million sporting precent.

Together, the Crows and the Roosters will provide coaching and resources to the young players to assist with their development and grow their awareness of what is required to be an elite football.

Participants will also benefit from the Crows’ new partnership with UniSA, which will enable an extension of the program’s education component.

The group will be led by Corey McKenzie, who was awarded the inaugural Crows NGA Coach Scholarship earlier this year.

Crows Next Generation Academy Coordinator Jarrod Meers said Port Augusta has been identified as a key development region with future NGA draft concessions for the Club.

“It’s our hope that we can one day recruit a player to the Adelaide Football Club who has come through our Port Augusta Next Generation Academy, made it to the elite talent pathways of the North Adelaide Football Club and the SANFL, and eventually lands at the Crows as an AFL footballer,” Meers said.

“This year we have tinkered with the Port Augusta Next Generation Academy concept. The most noticeable changes will be the increased size of the squad, from 25 in the inaugural program to more than 40, and moving the sessions to Central Oval to provide a more elite environment for training.

“In addition to skill development sessions, we will be working with our new partner University of South Australia to provide Academy players with greater education around AFL nutrition, GPS analysis, individual development plans and recovery.”

In only its second year, the regional NGA concept will continue to expand with discussions already underway to incorporate other parts of the region including Pt Pirie and Whyalla.

The Crows have two other NGA academies in regional South Australia – Murray Bridge (aligned with Sturt) which will kick off in February/March 2018, and Mt Gambier (aligned with Glenelg) which will be in action from December 2017.