Richmond Football Club in partnership with AFL North East Border, Murray Bushrangers, AFL New South Wales and GWS GIANTS have committed to a new 12-week U/15 football training academy to strengthen pathways in the Border region.

The new AFL Border Academy will have training hubs in both Wangaratta and Albury-Wodonga with young players from all surrounding areas eligible.

Richmond Senior Club Advisor, Neil Balme, said the purpose of the program was to ensure junior footballers in the North East Border region received the best possible football education and development.

The Tigers’ Next Generation Academy (NGA) zone includes the Victorian side of AFLNEB, while GWS GIANTS have Albury and the Riverina as part of their jurisdiction.

“Together with GWS GIANTS, we see a duty to help grow and improve the game in our respective NGA regions,” Balme said.

“This program will provide boys and girls in the area with the best possible coaching and AFL appropriate training standards that will give them the best opportunity to develop as footballers.”

The innovative co-branded Academy between the Tigers and GIANTS is endorsed by AFL House and will focus heavily on the fundamentals of football, in addition to strength and conditioning.

The program will be overseen by Murray Bushrangers talent manager Mick Wilson and Bushrangers Talent Pathway Coach/Regional Director, Mark Brown.

Richmond and GWS GIANTS will provide funding, coaching assistance and training curriculum that is reflective of an AFL environment.

The Academy will focus on under-15 boys in its first year before expanding to girls and other age groups in the future.