FORMER Elite Sport Business Student, Izzy Khoury completed her studies with the Carlton College of Sport (CCoS) in 2021. Using the Football Development Program as a way to improve her skills, Izzy has since been given the opportunity to train with Carlton AFLW side. As she reflects, the Football Development Program created a strong foundation for her to be able to build upon her game that could lead to the next step.

What improvements / developments did you notice from training with Football Development Program?

The improvements and development I noticed in my football from footy development is my skills and defensive work. I did a lot of work with Ash (Ash Naulty, CCoS Football Pathways and Development Coordinator) on my defensive skills, with training being filmed he used vision to help explain and gave me tips to implement in my game which I think really helped. Skills wise, Toz (Torin Baker, CCoS & Academy Coaching Lead/AFL Development Coach) was really big on this. During sessions we did all sorts of touch work which improved how clean I had to be under pressure in game situations.

How did the Football development program prepare you for the new level of football you are now involved in?

Training in an elite sport environment with very knowledgeable coaches prepared me most to where I am now. I learnt elite habits not only out on the field, but in the gym and how to prepare myself. We had dietitians come in and speak to us as well, so that really helped. All the coaches helped me to get where I am now, and I brought all these habits into my training.

Would you recommend the Football Development program? Why?

I would 100% recommend the football development program. It not only improved my football, but showed me what it takes to be a professional athlete. Not only do you get to train in an elite environment, you get taught by some of the best in the business. For anyone who wants to improve there football and make some friends while doing it, this is the best environment to do so.

What was the best experience / thing you learnt from the program?

The best experience in the program was probably learning from all the coaches and our access to the facilities and people. Ash and Toz had a wealth on knowledge which they shared and got the best out of each player. We also watched vision, and got talks from dietitian’s and players which was a really good insight. The thing I learnt most was what it really takes to get to the highest level. Not just the training you do, but what you eat and how you recover.

How involved were the coaches in your experience?

Ash and Toz were amazing in the program. I was in the first year at the program, and how it was run was amazing, so I can imagine how much better it is going to get. Both Ash and Toz brought so much knowledge and wanted to get the best out of everyone. They didn’t just coach us on the field but off it as well. They always gave us feedback and showed us vision of training to help us improve. Both would watch our games outside of football development as well. Ash came to one of my VFLW games and the next day sat down with me and gave me some feedback. Both coaches were fully invested into helping us, which meant a lot to me and I’m sure it did to everyone.

What is your next goal / level you want to get in football?

My ultimate goal is to play AFLW. Through this program it has helped me edge closer to that goal. I’m currently training with Carlton AFLW for the second year and playing VFLW. Ash and Toz were super helpful with making this happen, and told me what I have to do and what it takes to make it to the highest level.