The efficacy of talent selection criteria in the Australian Football League Academic Article uri icon


  • This study investigated the association between talent selection criteria, draft order and match performance in professional Australian Football players. Physical performance results from the Australian Football League (AFL) National Draft combine and non-performance based talent selection criteria were collated for all players drafted in the National Draft with selections 1-80 between 2003 and 2008 (n = 318). Match performance was assessed via the AFL Player Ranking metric that was provided by a commercial statistical provider (Champion Data Pty Ltd). A combination of stepwise multiple regression and linear mixed model analyses examined the influence of National Draft combine physical performance assessments and non-performance based talent selection criteria on draft order and future match performance. Earlier draft selection was associated with Under-18 all Australian team selection, height, Under-18 National Championship participation and indigenous status. The 20 m sprint and state of origin were associated with later draft selection. Under-18 all Australian team selection increased both Player Ranking/game and total Player Ranking. Under-18 all Australian team selection displays efficacy for selecting players with the potential for success.

publication date

  • 2020