Draft-camp predictors of subsequent career success in the Australian Football League Academic Article uri icon


  • The National Draft Camp results are generally considered to be important for informing talent scouts about the physical performance capacities of talented young Australian Rules Football (AFL) players. The purpose of this project was to determine magnitude of associations between five year career success in the AFL and physical draft camp tests, final draft selection order and previous match physical performance.Physical testing data of 99 players from the National Under 18 (U 18) competition were retrospectively analysed across 2002 and 2003 National Draft Camps. Physical match data was collected on these players and links with subsequent early career success (AFL games played) were explored.TrakPerformance Software was used to quantify the movement of 92 players during competitive games of the National U 18 Championships. Linear modelling using results from draft camp data involving 95 U 18 players, along with final draft selection order, was used to predict five year career success in senior AFL.Multiple U 18 match variables demonstrated large associations (sprints/min=43% more games, % sprint=43% more games) with five year career success in AFL. Final draft order and single variable predictors had moderate associations with career success. Neither U 18 matches nor draft camp testing was predictive of injuries incurring over the five years.Variability in senior AFL career success had a large association with a combination of match physical variables and draft test results. The objective data available should be considered in the selection of prospective player success.

publication date

  • November 2012