Boys Player Placement Policy

1. Purpose

The FJFC provides an opportunity for the children of Fitzroy and surrounding suburbs to learn the game of football and the skills of being part of a team and a community. Safety and wellbeing of players is paramount in all that we do. We acknowledge that players join our club for a wide variety of reasons and our goal is to provide a pathway for them regardless of their motivation. As a club we want to develop, foster and encourage each child’s enjoyment of football. This policy has been developed with these considerations in mind.

2. Policy Statement

This policy is intended to provide players, parents and coaches with clear player placement guidelines when there is more than one team in an age group.

3. Implementation

Under 8s – Under 12s

The club does not allocate players to teams according to  perceived playing ability at this age. We encourage players to play with their friends, make new ones, have fun playing football, learn and develop football skills and enjoy being part of a team.

Players are placed in teams:

  • with a reported peer connection
  • with a variety of players with varying degrees of skill, ability and confidence
  • to achieve similar numbers so as to minimise the risk of one team having a shortfall of players on match days.

When there is a request from a parent/player for the player to move to another team in the same age group, that request will be considered in line with these guidelines.

Players are  given the opportunity to play in all positions around the ground throughout the season. The  primary focus is  on player enjoyment and development, and team spirit. All players are given the opportunity to play at least three quarters of football on match day.

All players should be given a chance to lead, whether as a team captain for a match, in training activities, or in other leadership roles.

Under 13s – Under 16s

From Under 13s to Under 16s, players are selected for a team that will compete at a level commensurate with their physical size, development and football skills if it is safe and reasonable to do so.

We recognise that children grow, develop and mature at very different rates. At this age, there can be significant differences in physical development and emotional maturity between players. At the same time, there is also a significant increase in the physical intensity of the competition, particularly in the top divisions of the Yarra Junior Football League.

Some players may choose to opt out of the selection process and nominate for the lower-graded team.

Players are placed in teams:

  • to maximise their opportunities to develop and enjoy their playing experience, and minimise undue risks of injury
  • along with players that have similar skills, ability and confidence 
  • to achieve similar numbers so as to minimise the risk of one team having a shortfall of players on match days.

Where necessary, the coaches will conduct an assessment of players in each age group during the preseason period that considers the skills, experience and physical size and strength of each player. The selection process is managed by the Coach Development representative for the age group.

Generally, the teams will be different from the preceding season. The coaches will communicate the guidelines for, and process of, team selection to parents and players throughout the selection period.  Once teams are selected there is minimal movement between the teams, unless exceptional circumstances apply.

Players will have the opportunity to play in a variety of positions around the ground throughout the season.

All players are:

  • guaranteed a minimum of three quarters of football on match day for home and away games, and
  • two quarters of football on match day for any finals games.


Colts teams consist of boys between the ages of 16 and 18 and the players will usually train as a squad. Selection in each team will be decided by the chair of selectors on a weekly basis. Teams usually consist of both top and bottom age players.

The selection criteria for the highest graded teams in this age group  is similar to the U13s to U16s but there is an increased emphasis on overall team competitiveness as well as commitment to training and team rules.

We acknowledge that at this age, players have competing priorities (study, work) and differing attitudes to competitive sport. The lower graded team(s) will accommodate players wishing to develop and improve their football as well as those who wish to continue playing football at a more social level.

Coaches will still endeavour to work with players to promote development and expose them to various positions throughout the season, however there is greater consistency of positional placement in these years.

All players are:

  • guaranteed three quarters of football on match day for home and away games, and
  • two quarters of football on match day for any finals games.

4. Evaluation & Review

This policy was reviewed and updated in July 2022 and is scheduled for review in December 2025.

Opinions on the Player Placement Policies are sought each year in the annual FJFC Parent and Player survey and in coach surveys. This policy aligns with the views of the majority of players, parents and coaches at the club.

5. References

YJFL Statement of Rules and By Laws (see Section 6. Player Eligibility and Schedule A – Grading Guidelines)

6. Related Policies

Age Group Policy
Girls Player Placement Policy