RETIRING Sydney Swans coach Paul Roos will guide the development of a new generation of home-grown young players, with the ground-breaking venture backed by the Swans long-term corporate partner, QBE.

The Club is delighted to announce the 24 year partnership between the Sydney Swans and QBE will be extended to the Club’s exciting junior development program, which will be officially named the QBE Sydney Swans Academy.

In a major coup for the Academy, Paul Roos has accepted the position as Head Coach of the QBE Sydney Swans Academy.

Roos’ decision to continue his association with the Club in a new full-time role was pivotal in QBE’s decision to make a long-term commitment to the QBE Sydney Swans Academy.

The Academy will be a state-of-the-art training facility and development program for talented athletes aged from as young as nine years old, and will shape them into future Sydney Swans players.

The Sydney Swans, the AFL and the SCG Trust are looking to work together to build a world class facility at the historic venue to accommodate the Swans and the Academy.

Frank O'Halloran, Group, Chief Executive Officer, QBE Insurance, says QBE is proud of this extension to the existing relationship with the Sydney Swans.

“We are delighted with the focus on succession planning within the club and the nurturing of talent for the future - we believe this is a strong foundation for success,” Mr O’Halloran said.

He said QBE was pleased to continue its association with Paul Roos, one of the most respected and experienced coaches in Australia. “To retain Paul recognises his dedication and commitment to the Sydney Swans and we look forward to continuing to work with him in the future.”

Roos, who led the Sydney Swans to their first premiership in 72 years, said he was thrilled by the opportunity to develop the next generation of Swans players.

“I’ve now been in Sydney since 1995 and have a passion for developing the game in NSW. I’m very excited to be involved with the QBE Sydney Swans Academy,’’ Roos said.

“Without overstating it, the Academy is the most significant development for the Swans in the 27 years since the Club moved from Melbourne.

“QBE have once again shown what an incredibly supportive partner they are for the Swans, and their involvement with the Academy will ensure it becomes a real success story,’’ Roos said.

The chief executive of the Australian Football League, Andrew Demetriou, was in Sydney for today’s announcement and praised the Swans, QBE and Paul Roos on the establishment of the Academy partnership.

 “On behalf of the AFL, I would like to thank QBE chief executive Frank O’Halloran and his colleagues most sincerely for their continued support and partnership with the Sydney Swans, which is one of the greatest relationships in the AFL,’’ Mr Demetriou said.

"Today’s partnership announcement between QBE and the Sydney Swans lays the foundation to provide a world class Academy for young athletes in NSW. To have Paul Roos as Head Coach, identifying, guiding and nurturing the next generations of young sporting talent is a fantastic result for the Sydney Swans and for the growth of the game.’’

The Academy began operations earlier this year, under the guidance of former Swans captain and Team of the Century member, Dennis Carroll, as General Manager.

Already more than 700 youngsters aged from 9 to 18 have been involved with the Academy at trial days and at elite training sessions under the tutelage of expert coaches.

When the Academy is in full operation next year, it will make contact with thousands of youngsters annually through the Swans wide-ranging NSW zone, which includes more than 1600 schools. More than 300 boys will be involved in ongoing intensive training programs each year.

Sydney Swans chief executive Andrew Ireland said the QBE Sydney Swans Academy was the culmination of several years research by the Club into world-leading sports science and skill acquisition programs.

Ireland and the club’s medical, fitness and coaching staff have visited junior academies at a number of Europe’s leading sporting clubs, including Real Madrid, AC Milan, Ajax, Bayern Munich and Manchester United, to look at best practice models.

“We have been gathering information for more than five years to ensure our Academy is at the forefront in the areas of sports science and development programs,’’ Ireland said.

“For the first time, we will be able to develop players and then draft them directly to the Club, and who better to nurture young talent than Paul Roos,’’ he said.

“While not every boy who is a member of the Academy will go on to play for the Swans, the Academy should significantly increase the number of boys from NSW who go on to play in the AFL, and will also benefit local football.

“We want to develop our own local talent, and we want NSW boys in our extensive zone to know they can one day pull on a red and white jumper and play for the Sydney Swans if they are good enough,’’ Ireland said.