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9 January, 2021

New AFL Academy Kicks Off

The next generation of AFL players can now get professional coaching and hone their skills both in and out of AFL season in Cairns, thanks to the launch of Kick Academy.

By Tanya Murphy

Director and head coach Brent Courtney has years of experience in junior coaching, he grew up in Sydney playing AFL in the SFL whilst the sport was still developing which taught him the foundations he uses today.

He launched the Academy at Crathern Park oval in Trinity Beach after realising there was a high demand for professional training and development to complement the volunteer work done by local football clubs.

“There’s only so much volunteer coaches can do, and although the Gold Coast Suns come up once a year to run junior development programs, that’s only for a limited group of kids during a limited time, so there’s a huge demand for more training,” said Brent.

After being delayed by COVID-19 restrictions, the Academy held its first five-week program in Term Four last year and registration is now open for the first full-term 10-week program beginning on January 25.

The Academy runs five afternoons a week and has four additional coaches besides Brent.

“At Kick Academy we do more than coach AFL. Our Premier Pursuit program focuses on a child’s skills, strength and conditioning, nutrition, and personal development, such as confidence and good sportsmanship,” he said.

“Whether your child is wanting to upskill to dominate on the field, keep their fitness up, keep their skills honed throughout the off season, or just have fun - Kick Academy’s Premier Pursuit program is perfect. Our goal is to mentor all children to be the best players they can be.”

With plenty of AFLQ and AFL connections, Brent hopes to help more Cairns players get to the next level.

“We take high performance students through player profiling tests to see where they’re at in comparison to the national draft standards, and use the latest technology including GPS trackers to see how far players are running and where their hot spots are on the field,” he said.

With his talented 15-year-old daughter Ella employed as one of the Academy’s Coaches, Brent is also passionate about training girls to be confident AFL players.

Although he is a member of Centrals Trinity Beach Football Club, the goal is to get all clubs involved.

“We’ve already noticed that training players from different teams together is a great way to build a good culture of mateship and sportsmanship between teams,” he said.

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