One of the most eagerly awaited events on the QBE Swans Academy calendar - the Open Assessment Trials for new players - will move to a revamped two-phase system this year.
The Youth Boys Trials, held every year since 2011 for players aged 9 to 12, are the main selection pathway for young footballers to join the Swans Academy.
(Trials for female players have been held for the past four years and more information on the 2021 Youth Girls Trials will be provided at a later date).
This year there are no restrictions on the number of players who can register for the Youth Boys Trials, but successful players will have to participate in two selection days.
Registration for the 2021 Trials open at 9am Friday July 9 and close 10am Monday August 2. The registration link can be found below.
The first phase trials are at Tramway Oval on Driver Ave opposite the SCG on these dates:
U10 Youth Boys (born in 2011) – Monday, August 9, 2021, 4.30pm-7pm
U11 Youth Boys (born in 2010) – Tuesday, August 10, 2021, 4.30pm-7pm
U12 Youth Boys (born in 2009) – Wednesday, August 11, 2021, 4.30pm-7pm
At these initial trials, boys will move through 10 different activities designed to test skills and athletic capabilities, watched by Academy coaches.
Every boy will receive an individual assessment report via email by Monday August 23. The report will also inform them if they've been invited to take part in the second stage of testing - to be held on Monday August 30 (Under 10); Tuesday August 31 (Under 11); and Wednesday September 1 (Under 12).
Academy Head Chris Smith said the second phase would allow the introduction of more game-based assessment to the selection process.
"Players need a reasonably high level of skill and athletic ability to get through to the second trial,'' Smith said. "In the second phase we'll play games among small groups of players. That will allow us to get a better sense of their game-understanding and decision-making skills.
"We have a lot of demand for places in the Academy, so we want to make the process as accurate and as fair as possible for these young boys. We think the second day of testing will help us make the best selections,'' Smith said.
Players selected at the Trials will enter the Academy in 2022.
To register for the 2021 Youth Boys Trials, please click here.