Talented Player Pathway Review (Hunter Region) Frequently Asked Questions

June 22nd, 2017

The purpose of this information is to address some of the questions which have been asked regularly during the initial consultation phase.



Question: Why is NNSWF implementing the review?

The review is aligned to the WINNING (Build generations of successful National teams) Pillar of NNSWF’S Strategic Plan. There are a number of factors which led to the review including;

  • The Newcastle Jets’ decision to assume full control of the Emerging Jets from October 2017, and to reduce the scope of the program to the Game Training Phase (Boys – 12’s to 18’s and Girls – 13’s to 19’s).
  • NNSWF’s capacity to tangibly support a broader pathway has dramatically increased as a result of the Jets’ decision to assume full responsibility for the Emerging Jets and Jets W-League.
  • FFA has directed NNSWF to broaden the base of the Talented Player Pathways (TPP) for boys and girls by lowering the age of the Skill Acquisition Program, positioning Premier Clubs at the “heart” of player development and delaying the selection of players until the Game Training Phase.


Question: What is the review’s focus?

The review is principally focused on the Skill Acquisition Phase (9 to 12 years).


Question: What Guiding Principles have shaped the review?

The primary Guiding Principles follow;

  • Premier Clubs will be at the “heart” of player development in the Hunter Region;
  • The ment of identified players based in the Hunter Region into full-time Programs will be restricted to the Emerging Jets;
  • There will be multiple opportunities for players to be identified and transition through the TPP as they improve and mature;
  • The appropriate accreditation and ongoing professional development of coaches engaged in the TPP is crucial to success;
  • Coaches engaged throughout the TPP will need to be supported by appropriately accredited and experienced Technical Advisors;
  • Premier Clubs will require ongoing financial assistance to appropriately accredit club coaches;
  • Coaches engaged in the TPP should be fairly remunerated and as a result player registrations fees may need to increase accordingly;
  • “Competition” for players between the various echelons of the game must be avoided; and
  • All stakeholders will be provided with as much time as possible to plan for future amendments to the TPP


Question: Does the review include the girls?



Question: Who has been consulted so far?

To date NNSWF has presented the terms of the review to the following stakeholders;

  • FFA National Technical Director and Technical Team;
  • Member Zones (Hunter Region and Football Mid North Coast);
  • PS4 NPL Clubs;
  • NewFM Northern League One Clubs;
  • Herald WPL Clubs;
  • PS4 NPL Club Technical Directors and other Premier Club Coaches;
  • Member Zone and NNSWF Newcastle SAP Technical Directors; and
  • Parents of players registered in the Skill Acquisition Phase of the Emerging Jets

Identified stakeholders have been encouraged to seek further clarification as required and to provide their positions through a written submission by 1 August. NNSWF is providing a written submission template to facilitate this process.


Question: Who will ultimately decide what changes to the TPP will be implemented?

NNSWF’s Board of Directors is scheduled to determine the amendments to the TPP on 16 August.


Question: Is the current Talented Player Pathway “broken”?


No, the current TPP is not broken. The Emerging Jets and Member Zone SAP’s have served the “best” players in the respective age groups very well. The review aims to improve the TPP and provide opportunities for more players to be engaged in the TPP for longer.


Question: What about the TPP in Regional NNSW?

Regional Member Zones will remain at the heart of player development in Regional NNSW in the short to medium term. The efforts of Regional Zones will continue to be complimented by centralised talent identification programs implemented by NNSWF. Further information can be sourced here WINNING.

Regional Zone Technical Directors are scheduled to meet with NNSWF’s Management on 18 August to conduct a preliminary review of the Regional TPP.



2.1.    Emerging Jets (Skill Acquisition Phase)

Question: What will happen to this phase of the program when the Jets take control?

The Jets has informed NNSWF that the Emerging Jets (EJ) will not include the SAP squads beyond 2017.


Question: What will happen to players currently registered in the EJ’s Skill Acquisition Phase?

This issue will be addressed during the review. Relevant parents have been consulted and the overwhelming response is that players in the program seek the opportunity to transition through to the EJ’s Game Training Phase.


Question: Will NNSWF consider continuing to implement the Skill Acquisition component of the EJ’s?

NNSWF is carefully considering the option to provide current players with the opportunity to transition to Game Training. If this occurs it is likely that the program will have a different name. Subject to the further consultation and the review’s guiding principles it is unlikely that NNSWF will recruit 9’s into a centralised program from 2018.    


Question: When will this decision be made?

NNSWF’s Board of Directors is scheduled to make a determination on 16 August.


2.2. Licensed Skill Acquisition Programs (SAP)

Question: What changes are proposed to SAP’s

NNSWF proposes to broaden the base of the TPP by transitioning the implementation of SAP’s from the three Member Zones to Premier Clubs and dropping the entry level to 9’s. The proposed structure of the amended SAP’s is 9’s, 10’s, 11’s and 12’s for boys and 9’s/10’s & 11’s/12’s for girls.


Question: Will all Premier Clubs be invited to implement a SAP?

All clubs competing in the PS4 NPL, NewFM Northern League One and Herald WPL will be invited to establish a SAP in accordance with the terms of a formal License Agreement with NNSWF.

Northern League One and WPL clubs will be invited to establish SAP’s on the basis that the club is committed to transitioning to compliance with the criteria which underpins an NPL License.


Question: How many players will clubs be permitted to recruit in their SAP’s?


Age Boys Age Girls
9’s 16 9’s/10’s 16
10’s 16 11’s/12’s 16
11’s 14
12’s 14


Question: Are there enough talented players to sustain Premier Club SAP’s?

There are approximately 12,000 MiniRoos players in the Hunter Region. Broadening the base of the SAP aims to provide more players with opportunities to reach their potential through better coaching and more training.     


Question: Won’t broadening the base have a negative impact on the very best players in the Sill Acquisition Phase?

Yes, this has been identified as a disadvantage of broadening the base, particularly in the short-term. NNSWF is committed to appointing SAP Technical Advisors who will mentor Premier Club SAP Coaches on a regular basis and gradually lift the standard of coaching. A broader base will provide more players with the opportunity to receive better coaching and to transition through the TPP as they improve and mature.

The Newcastle Jets will need to consider how to best identify the very best players who will transition to the Emerging Jets Boys 12’s and Girls 13’s.

This approach is consistent with FFA’s technical direction that players should not be selected in the skill acquisition phase.


Question: Why has NNSWF decided to broaden the base of the TPP now?

The Newcastle Jets’ decision to assume full control of the Emerging Jets and Jets W-League will free up significant resources which can be redeployed. NNSWF was simply not in a position to provide the level of support required to underpin the proposed amendments to the TPP.

NNSWF was also conscious of the commitment required by clubs to transition to the NPL and the establishment of youth grades.  


Question: What’s the projected cost of participating in a Premier Club SAP?

The cost is to be determined, however, participation in a Premier Club SAP cannot be compared to MiniRoos. SAP’s are proposed to be conducted over 30 weeks by an appropriately accredited coach who is fairly remunerated. A standard week is likely to consist of 2 training sessions and a fixture on the weekend.

NNSWF is committed to investing heavily in the proposed amendments to the TPP through the appointment of a full-time Technical Director and Technical Advisor. A number of part-time SAP Technical Advisors will also be appointed to mentor club SAP Coaches.

Some of costs which will ultimately determine the participation fee include;

  • Club Coaches’ fees;
  • Training and playing apparel;
  • Equipment;
  • Facility hire fees; and
  • Match Officials fees

The costs add up and ultimately someone has to pay! It’s simply not fair to push further costs back onto the broader football community.

Player Development is a cost centre for NNSWF and definitely not a profit centre! Any suggestion that NNSWF generates a surplus from Player Development is misinformed.


Question: Do Premier Clubs have the capacity to implement SAP’s?  

NNSWF acknowledges the ever increasing pressure placed on volunteers. In response, NNSWF has indicated that as many administrative functions related to the implementation of Premier Club SAP’s will be centralised and administered by NNSWF. The functions which could be administered by NNSWF include;

  • Player registration;
  • Invoicing and payment of fees;
  • Recruitment of SAP Coaches;
  • Sizing, ordering and distribution of apparel and equipment;
  • Provision of training session plans; and
  • Conduct of SAP fixtures at hubs by NNSWF

Ultimately it will be up to Premier Clubs to determine if they have the capacity to implement a SAP to underpin the youth structure.

One of the options proposes that Premier Clubs start with SAP 9’s in 2018 and gradually work towards the full complement of SAP squads (9-12) by 2021.


Question: What impact will the proposed changes have on players currently registered in SAP’s conducted by Member Zones?

The terms of the review respect that NNSWF has executed a formal license agreement with the Macquarie Football, Hunter Valley Football and established the NNSWF Newcastle SAP. NNSWF’s preference is that the players who are currently engaged in Member Zone SAP’s should be given the opportunity to transition to Premier Club Youth structures.

NNSWF’s License agreement with the Member Zones concludes at the end of season 2019.

One of the options being considered proposes that Premier Club SAP’s commence with 9’s only in 2018. This approach would have no impact upon existing Member Zone SAP’s.


3. Talent Identification

Question: What opportunities will be provided for players at community clubs to be identified and transition to the TPP?

NNSWF has proposed the establishment of Football Development Programs (FDP) conducted by Member Zones in hubs for interested 7 and 8 year old girls and boys who would like an extra nights training in addition to MiniRoos. Premier Clubs would be encouraged to attend the FDP’s to identify players who may have the potential to join their SAP 9’s in the following year.

NNSWF has also proposed to conduct regular talent identification gala days for community clubs in the 9 to 12 age groups. Once again Premier Clubs would be invited to attend to identify players who could subsequently be invited to attend training with a view to joining the Premier Club SAP in the following season.


Question: What programs will be in place for players who are identified as having the potential to be selected for the Emerging Jets?

NNSWF and FFA is committed to the establishment of Talent Support Programs for boys and girls in the 13 to 16 age groups who are on the cusp of selection for the Emerging Jets. The TSP’s will train at the LMRFF on 1-2 nights a week in addition to club training. NNSWF will implement the TSP and collaborate with the Jets to ensure there are opportunities for the TSP’s to integrate with the relevant EJ’s squads. The number of players who transition from TSP’s to the Emerging Jets will be a true measure of the effectiveness of the TPP.


Question: Is there an overview which illustrates what the TPP’s could look like in 2020 subject to the outcomes of the review?   

Yes. NNSWF has drafted proposed TPP’s for males and females in the Hunter Region. Please note that the outcomes are subject to further consultation and the determination of the NNSWF Board of Directors.

Proposed Boys and Girls TPP Hunter Region from 2020:

TPP Hunter Region Female

TPP Hunter Region Male Junior and Youth


4. Next steps

Stakeholders who have relevant questions are encouraged to forward them to reception@northernnswfootball.com.au

NNSWF’s Management will address relevant questions on a weekly basis and post responses across social media channels.

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