"THE RAMS WAY" Junior Principles


In response to feedback from members seeking greater transparency and consistency in how decisions are made in relation to the operations of the club we have provided this summary to give you an overview of how the age groups will operate.  More detail will be available in the Rams Policy document via the website. 

Both the Boys and Girls programs will get equal access to facilities and opportunities. 
We will take a consistent approach through the grades for both boys and girls programs noting that the girls operate in 2 year age gaps. 
We measure success of our junior program by: 

  • Players and families joining the club and building a connection over a long period as measured by the retention of our players from year to year

  • Development of our football program, individual and team capability measured by individual capability improvement, growth of both boys and girls programs and preparing players for a successful transition to senior football

  • Continuous improvement of our program as measured by an annual survey of member satisfaction

The approach to how we will run the various age groups is provided below: 


Auskick, Under 7s to Under 10s 
The emphasis is on participation, skill and social development.  Our aim is to build a love of the game, facilitate new friendship groups (players and parents), develop base football skills and an interest to return each year.  Accordingly we have adopted the following rules: 

  • In the first year at the club we will attempt to put the child with some players they know;

  • We will create teams with children from a mixture of schools to expand the players social group;

  • Aim to create teams that are relatively even in capability as best determined by past understanding of player capability;

  • To keep teams generally together from Under 7 to Under 10, noting that squad size increases from U8 to U9.

  • Coaches will rotate players through each zone throughout the game so they get to experience each zone for a minimum of a quarter each game.

  • Coaches will rotate players on and off the oval throughout the game.  This will require all players to spend time on the interchange.  Where we dont have a full interchange bench each quarter, playing time will be managed to provide equal game time over a 3 week period

Under 11s to Under 14s 
We will continue to develop football skills and game sense, along with the ability to be a great team mate and continue to love the game and return each year.  It is through this period where we support those that exhibit high levels of talent early on through nomination in development squads, and equally support those players that require some further support from our program to help maximise their potential.  The rules we have adopted are: 

  • Our aim is to allocate teams to a Division in which they will be competitive, as well as challenged.

  • If we have two teams, we will have graded teams.

  • Where we have more than 2 teams, we will have one team allocated to a high division and the other teams will be split evenly and equally as best as the Selection panel can determine.

  • In Under 11’s to mix the teams up to provide teams that are as evenly split by capability.

  • In the grades from U11 through to U14 inclusive, it is expected that Coaches will rotate players through a minimum of two positions per game and provide all players with the opportunity to play in a variety of positions over a 3 week period.

  • Coaches will rotate players on and off the oval throughout the game and provide all players with the opportunity to play the equivalent time equating to a minimum of 3 quarters of football over the course of every game.

  • We will aim to have more players in the squad than can play each week.  This is because over the course of the year every team is hit with sickness, injury, players unavailable due to holidays or other reasons.

  • The expectation is that over the course of the season, every player has the opportunity to play the same number of games as every other player in the team.  There is to be no favouritism within teams.

Grading will be overseen by the Junior Football Director and Junior Football Committee.  Grading will be informed by feedback from prior year coaches, observed pre-season training and trials, attitude and conduct aligned to the RAMS values. 


Under 15s to Under 16.5s 
The focus through these age groups is about preparing the players for senior football, whereby the coaching approach and expectations will increase, noting we still focus on skills and game sense at a more sophisticated level, as well as getting the players to be more accountable for their own commitment to the club, team mates and themselves.  We will invest in other non-football programs that assist players through this period such as alcohol and drug awareness through sanctioned association programs.  During these ages, some players will end up focussing more on elite development programs through the SANFL teams or School system.  We will support them in this, as well as continue to invest in those players whose immediate path is through to the Glenunga Football Club Senior program.  The rules we will follow are: 

  • Our aim is to allocate teams to a Division in which they will be competitive, as well as challenged.

  • Coaches will rotate players such that they experience at least two quarters in a minimum of 3 positions over a 3 week rotation period.

  • Coaches will ensure players have a minimum of 60% game time each week, which includes all players spending time off the ground.

  • We will aim to have more players in the squad than can play each week.  This is because over the course of the year every team is hit with sickness, injury, players unavailability.

  • The expectation is that over the course of the season, every player has the opportunity to play the same number of games as every other player in the team.  There is to be no favouritism within teams.

We have developed more detailed policies on the following aspects that are available for all members in the Policy document on our website: 

  • Coach selection

  • Feedback and briefing process with parents

  • Movement of players between teams

  • Finals selection

  • Junior pathway into seniors

  • Pre season program

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