Factors associated with early career progression in professional Australian Football players Academic Article uri icon


  • This study examined the association between individual and team characteristics and the probability of being offered a second contract in professional Australian Football. Contract status was obtained from the AFL for players who were drafted in the AFL National Draft between 1999 and 2013 (n = 999). Individual player characteristics were retrieved from the AFL while variables relating to performance were accessed online via Champion Data®. A binary logistic regression examined the influence of each characteristic on the probability of a professional Australian Football player receiving a second contract. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves and the associated AUC were used to assess the discriminant ability of both a training (n = 938) and test data set (n = 61). The characteristics that influenced the probability of receiving a second contract included first year debut (pr 0.606), draft order (pr - 0.126), draft year (pr 0.059), games played (pr 1.848), team state (pr 0.458), rising star nomination (pr 1.553) and team ladder position (pr -0.043) (χ2 (8) = 198.28, p < 0.001). The ROC curve demonstrated an AUC of 82.4% (training) and 76.0% (test). A combination of individual and team based characteristics are associated with early career progression in professional Australian Football.

publication date

  • 2018