The playing habits and other commitments of elite junior Australian football players

J Sci Med Sport. 2002 Sep;5(3):266-73. doi: 10.1016/s1440-2440(02)80012-3.


The Victorian Football League Under 18 (VFL U18) competition provides a pathway to the elite senior level of Australian football. Players involved in the VFL U18 competition also play football in other contexts, including for school and local clubs, and can have considerable additional work and educational demands. A total of 103 elite junior Australian football players from six VFL U18 clubs participated in a survey that asked about their football playing habits and other commitments. The median age of players when they first joined their VFL U18 squad was 16.3 years. The players participated in a median of five weekly training sessions during the last two weeks of the 1999 preseason and played a median of five preseason games. Fifty percent of the players expected to participate in 3-4 training sessions per week and 25% expected to play more than two games per week during the 1999 season. Half of the players reported ambitions to play Australian Football League (AFL) football. Further research is needed to determine whether or not high participation levels have negative impacts on performance and injury risk in these players.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Australia
  • Educational Status
  • Employment
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Soccer* / statistics & numerical data